Cambodian ‘monks’ arrested for soliciting money in Rayong
A mix of five real and fake Cambodian monks were arrested and defrocked in Rayong for illegally entering Thailand and only soliciting alms money.
On October 7, Klaeng District Officer Kanjarat Eidthongsai led police to Bothong Temple where they found a dormitory adorned with Khmer scriptures listing the names of cash donors. More than 10 Khmer monks fled the scene, but five were arrested.
Only two turned out to be real Buddhist priests, identified only as Aon, 34, and Mern. They told the police that they did not have their monk’s license and that they could not remember the name of the Cambodian temple where they had been ordained because they had lived at the Bothong temple for many years.
They worked daily at the Samyan market, taking only alms money, earning around 300 baht a day. Three other unordained Cambodians posed as monks, doing the same. They were taken when Thai buyers were offended by the demand for cash only.
Police tested all five and two tested positive for methamphetamine use. The monks confessed to using some of their alms money to buy drugs.
All were brought before the Deputy Dean of Klaeng District Monks, Phra Khru Kasemattakorn, who defrocked them. The men were later arrested and handed over to immigration police, who charged them with illegal entry into the country and prepared them for deportation.