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Former Abbot Phra Dhammajayo fled to Europe?

Tim Newton

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Former Abbot Phra Dhammajayo may have fled the country.

The DSI (Department of Special Investigations) says they have evidence that he may have bolted to Europe with the help of some of his followers.

The Government raided the sprawling ‘space-age’ Dhammakaya Temple headquarters, just north of Bangkok, back in February but came out empty-handed. Authorities have vowed to bring the 73 year old to justice but, so far, he’s eluded all attempts to find him.

Col. Paisit Wongmuang says the DSI have intelligence that he’s crossed a border in Thailand and made his way to Europe with the help of temple followers. He confirmed that the DSI have no idea which country he might be in.

Former Abbot Dhammajayo is the spiritual leader of a Buddhist cult called ‘Dhammakaya’, whose unorthodox teachings attract criticism from mainstream Buddhists. The sect also has a big focus on the accumulation of wealth and has been accused of accepting large donations, embezzling funds and money laundering.

The temple’s large base of support, largely middle-class and ‘hi-so’ Thais, attracts a lot of suspicion from the ruling Junta. Phra Dhammajayo was summoned to answer questions by investigators last year but failed to appear citing health problems.

Devotees of the Buddhist sect claim that the charges are trumped up, that the former Abbot wouldn’t have known anything about embezzled funds and that the charges against their spiritual leader are politically motivated.

Another spokesperson for the DSI says that, despite some recent intelligence that Dhammajayo could be in Europe they are also following up on leads that suggest he could also still be in Thailand.

Former Abbot Phra Dhammajayo fled to Europe? | News by Thaiger Former Abbot Phra Dhammajayo fled to Europe? | News by Thaiger

(PHOTOS: dhammakayauncovered, IB Times and World Temple Earth Day)

 

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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 41 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented over 10,000 radio news bulletins, 3,900 in Thailand alone, hosted 650 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. As founder of The Thaiger, Tim now acts as the Content Manager and head-writer, whilst supervising the growth of the YouTube channel. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.

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