Police hunt temple thief after B100k donation snatch

PHUKET: Police are searching for a man who is suspected of stealing more than 100,000 baht in cash from Tah Reua Temple, which houses Phuket’s top monk, Phra Visutthi Thamma-kanee.

Officers were alerted to the theft at 10:30am yesterday.

“Phra Visutthi Thamma-kanee said that he saw a man about 40 years old sitting in front of the monks’ dormitory at about 3pm on Saturday,” said Capt Suporn Muangkhai of the Thalang Police.

“The abbot greeted the man and thought he was a local resident who just came to visit the temple, and so he continued his walk around the temple grounds.

“When he returned, he realized that an envelope containing 100,000 baht in donations was gone. He thought that he had misplaced it, until another monk at reported 8,000 baht in donations disappearing from another room at the temple.”

The missing 100,000 baht was raised through donations at Wat Luang Phu Supha in Chalong, Capt Suporn explained.

“The abbot there had given it to Phra Visutthi Thamma-kanee to pass on to Wat Bang Riang in Thap Put, Phang Nga, to help build a meditation center,” Capt Suporn said.

Officers found no sign of a break-in, though Phra Visutthi Thamma-kanee admitted that he had left his accommodations unlocked while he went for his walk.

“The abbot is concerned that the man he saw may be responsible for the missing money,” Capt Suporn said.

“We are investigating this thoroughly and we will catch the thief.”

— Thawit Bilabdullar

Phuket News
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