Cambodians caught dressing as monks in Thailand to be deported

Samut Prakan, PHOTO: Markus Gäthke/Flickr

Two Cambodian nationals who snuck across Thailand’s border illegally while dressed as Buddhist monks have been caught. The 2 men, one 30 years old and the other 27, first took a bus to Samut Prakan, just south east of Bangkok capital. They then headed into a woodland behind a market in the main city district, and built a temporary shack for themselves there.

During the day, the dodgy ‘monks’ went to collect ‘donations’ from people. Police from Samut Prakan immigration found the shack yesterday after getting tipped off by locals. In the shack, they found 20 baht and 100 baht banknotes, totalling up to about 1,000 baht. They also found monks’ robes, and items monks often use. The men then admitted they were part of a larger group of Cambodians who took a bus to Samut Prakan while dressed as monks, and split up to different areas to ask for donations.

Police are now on the look out for other Cambodians dressed as monks, while the 2 men caught yesterday have been charged with illegal entry into Thaialnd. They are set to be deported after legal steps are taken.

It’s not just foreign nationals who have pretended to be monks to get money – several Thais have been caught doing the same thing. In February, a Phuket man disguised as a monk allegedly asked for ‘donations’ at the Phuket Town Fresh Market on Ong Sim Phai Road.

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A similar incident happened in Rayong last Thursday when 7 men posed as monks to ask for donations. The men had allegedly seemed like ‘unconventional’ monks because they refused food and offerings and only accepted cash. A local monk reported the men to police, and the ‘monks’ refused to speak to the police. They tried to flee, but police caught them and found the men had fake monk ID cards, and knives.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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