Thai monks implicated in illicit wildlife sanctuary encroachment

Photo courtesy of Pattaya News

Phu Khiao Wildlife Sanctuary officers yesterday unveiled a case of alleged illicit encroachment involving monks from a highly revered temple in Chaiyaphum.

The monks and their accomplices are suspected of violating the sanctity of the wildlife sanctuary’s protected grounds.

The Suomi NPP satellite pinpointed 14 hotspots in a forest located in Nong Bua Daeng, Chaiyaphum on Tuesday. Responding swiftly, the Phu Khiao officers dispatched forest rangers to carry out an extensive patrol of the flagged region.

The patrolling rangers stumbled upon a group of individuals in the heart of the forest, descending from a cliff two days later on April 25 at exactly 11am. Upon requesting an inspection, the rangers faced resistance as the group allegedly attempted to flee the scene, with one individual even reportedly firing three rounds at the officers.

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Despite the chaotic attempts at evasion, two suspects were apprehended by the officers. These included a Deputy Provincial Abbot and a neophyte. However, seven other suspects managed to elude capture. The officers were later able to identify the escapees, comprising three more monks and four followers, and initiated a manhunt to apprehend them.

In the course of the arrest, the officers seized a 22mm pistol, a toy gun, and seven rucksacks filled with carcasses of wild animals. These items were recorded as evidence, and the captured suspects were escorted to the Non Mao police station for further legal proceedings, reported Pattaya News.

The monks’ response to the allegations remains undisclosed, and it remains uncertain whether they will face additional punitive actions from the monkhood, such as potential defrocking and expulsion.

In related news, a Thai man caught his Democrat Party politician wife committing adultery with a Thai monk who was also their adoptive son. The Democrat Party stated that woman would be expelled within three days if found guilty. The woman had previously run as a candidate MP in the northern province of Sukhothai for the Democrat Party.

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Top is a multifaceted news writer with a keen interest in real estate and travel. Top currently covers local Thai news at Thaiger. As a travel buff, Top blogs about his travels- around the world and Thailand- during his free time.

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