Fake monk arrested after he swindled 180,000 baht from elder abbot to fund wife’s business

Picture courtesy of Bigboy Bigboy Facebook

Police apprehended a 53 year old resident of the Buriram province, who had been disguising himself as a monk to deceive local temple heads.

Phanuphong, also known as ‘Oat,’ used his clever ruse to swindle more than 180,000 baht (US$5,112) from Monhkol Jatsanlo, an 82 year old abbot from Buriram, last June.

Now in the custody of the police, Phanuphon has confessed to his wrongdoings. He admitted his likeness to the individual seen in the closed-circuit television footage, and that he utilised the stolen funds to support his new wife’s fruit-selling venture. An investigation led police to the Nakhon Ratchasima province where Phanuphong was discovered residing in an unnumbered rental property, reported KhaoSod.

While canvassing Phanuphong’s home village, it was learnt that the suspect originally hailed from southern Thailand but moved in with his spouse in Buriram. However, the couple has been separated for several years. His dubious actions during his residency disturbed many. He engaged in petty theft and ruffled the feathers of several residents. Community members held a grudge against Phanuphong and are clearly unhappy about the prospect of his return to Buriram.

Boonhom, a 61 year old local, warned fellow villagers to be vigilant and secure their possessions if they spot Phanuphong returning to his ex-wife’s residence. The entire community is on high alert, yet unsure of how to approach the concerning situation.

Prapawarin, a 41 year old local woman, revealed she was Phanuphong’s former mother-in-law. She stated that her ex-son-in-law had lied about his profession, claiming he held a managerial position at a leading department store’s finance sector.

Contrarily, he was frequently engaged in burglary operations across multiple regions and had multiple prison sentences to show for it. Despite his history with the law, he seemed to have no regrets and was involved in similar crimes once again. Prapawarin firmly believes that he is beyond correction.

Police have yet to issue charges.

Thailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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