Monk on the run – Police seek abbot over sex offences, theft

Police are hunting the deputy abbot of a temple on the Lao border in connection with alleged sexual assaults on teenage novices and the disappearance of more than 1 million baht (US$26,000) from the temple’s bank account.

Pol Maj Gen Piyapan Pattarapongsin, commander of Nan provincial police, said an arrest warrant for Thanet Thanamangkhalo had been issued involving charges of sexual assault and committing acts of sexual indecency against a person under 15 years of age.

Police raided the monk’s living quarters but found nothing of interest.

Piyapan said the novice said he had been sexually harassed by the man for two years.

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Thanet, he claimed, constantly threatened him and the other novices, promising to strip them of their scholarships if they rejected his advances or attempted to expose him.

Monk on the run - Police seek abbot over sex offences, theft | News by Thaiger
The city of Nan’s most famous wat is renowned for its cruciform ubosot which was constructed in 1596.

The deputy abbot is also the head administrator of a dharma school in the province that the novices attend. The abused novice finally told his mother about the monk’s behaviour and they decided to file a complaint with the police.

Piyapan said Thanet sometimes spent the night with novices in his living quarters, where he abused them. He also reportedly drank and ate at night, which is not a criminal offence but goes against Buddhist precepts governing monastic life.

Northern Thailand News

Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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