Abbot aberration under investigation

NONTHABURI: When Commander Kritsapha Suksaengdao from the Department of Civil Aviation walked up to Luang Por Prasit Sithikaroh, abbot of Wat Sainoi, on December 26 and offered a polite wai, the abbot probably thought nothing of it.

After all, the abbot was the most revered monk in the province and counted many high-ranking military and government officials among his throng of followers.

In this instance, however, it wasn’t a blessing or advice the commander was seeking.

Rather, he had something to sell, and at 4 million baht it wasn’t going cheap. It was not a Buddhist artifact or adornment for the temple, but a VCD.

The aviator claimed the disc showed the 82-year-old abbot in the throes of passion with a middle-aged woman.

The commander was quick to assure the abbot that he had no part in recording the images. Rather, but had by chance come across someone selling the VCD in the town and, in a desire to protect the good name of the abbot, had bought it for 4 million baht.

Now he would like refunding from the temple, he said.

Suspecting that the commander’s story may not have been the whole truth, the abbot called for the temple director to help him with negotiations.

Apparently willing to lose some money to gain merit, the commander lowered his price to 2 million baht.

Suspecting blackmail, the temple director decided, perhaps somewhat short-sightedly considering the material on the VCD, to call Col Thanee Ketjulom, Superintendent of Sainoi Police Station.

Col Thanee told reporters, “[When the police were called] Commander Kritsapha saw that the situation didn’t look good and made a dash for his car and tried to escape.

Officers managed to stop him on his way home and brought him to Sainoi Police Station for questioning.

“He refused to give a statement, however, saying that he wanted to wait for legal counsel from the Judge Advocate General’s Department.

“We therefore decided to seize the VCD as evidence and make an appointment to question the suspect later. He was then released.”

Lt Col Chamnan Wongsriphueak, an Inspector at Sainoi Police Station involved in the investigation, said that police still had to interview other witnesses at the temple.

He confirmed that the VCD did apparently show a monk having sex with a woman.

Police are now hunting for the female star of the film, he added

Lt Gen Prinya Jansuriya, Commander of Nonthaburi Provincial Police, said that he had instructed his officers to charge Cdr Kritsapha with blackmail.

Gen Prinya said that after closely watching the VCD he could confirm that it shows Luang Por Prasit having sex with a middle-aged woman in the abbot’s room at Wat Sainoi on December 21. The 20-minute VCD reportedly began with the as-yet-unidentified woman hiding the camera with a view of the bedding in the unsuspecting abbot’s room and then sitting waiting for him.

After a while, a man resembling Luang Por Prasit enters the room and makes straight for the bed, where the woman massages him for about 10 minutes before removing her clothes and having sex with him once.

Judging by the highly skilled way the woman had massaged the abbot in the recording, police believe the woman is a professional masseuse.

With such a promising lead, investigators are now scouring local massage parlors to find her. They believe she was in on the blackmail plot, Gen Prinya added.

As the abbot appeared to be voluntarily partaking in the sex and did not appear to have been drugged, the VCD would have to be passed on to Sangha authorities so they could discipline the abbot, Gen Prinya said.

Phra Thammakittimuni, the highest-ranking monk in Nonthaburi province, said that he had yet to receive an official report of the incident.

As soon as one is received, a thorough investigation would be launched as the allegations were very damaging to the image of Buddhism, he said.

Thailand News

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