Author Topic: 1,000 cops to nab 1 monk  (Read 435 times)

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Offline thaiga

1,000 cops to nab 1 monk
« on: December 03, 2016, 11:01:37 PM »
DSI to deploy 1,000 cops to nab monk

Time running out for Phra Dhammajayo

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has asked police to provide up to seven companies -- about 1,000 officers -- to join an operation to apprehend Phra Dhammajayo.

The request was made in a meeting between representatives from the DSI, the Royal Thai Police and the National Office of Buddhism on Thursday night, according to deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul yesterday.

The meeting came a day after the deadline for the embattled former abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya to report to the DSI on charges of money laundering and receiving property in connection with the multi-billion-baht Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative embezzlement scandal expired.

Police were also asked to support teams of medical personal, communications officers, bomb squads as well as sniffer dogs and helicopters in the operation, Pol Gen Srivara said, adding these officers will be placed on standby around the clock.

He said the DSI is responsible for the operation plans, while police will provide support in line with the agency's requests.

Phra Dhammajayo is also facing charges in connection with alleged forest encroachment in Nakhon Ratchasima and Loei.

The Sikhiu Provincial Court approved a warrant for his arrest over alleged forest encroachment by the temple's World Peace Valley Meditation Centre at Khao Yai National Park in Nakhon Ratchasima's Pak Chong district. In this case, the abbot was asked to turn himself in to officers by yesterday.

The Loei Provincial Court has also granted a warrant for his arrest after a police probe found Wat Dhammakaya's meditation facility in Loei's Phu Rua district was built on a forest reserve during Phra Dhammajayo's time as abbot.

"If Phra Dhammajayo fails to come forward, investigators have to bring charges against the temple's acting abbot for giving shelter to a person facing an arrest warrant," Pol Gen Srivara said.

Doubts have now been raised about the exact whereabouts of the abbot.

Ong-art Thamnitha, who represents Phra Dhammajayo's disciples, said on Nov 24 the abbot was still at the temple, but Phra Maha Nopporn Punyajayo, assistant director of Wat Phra Dhammakaya's communications team, on Wednesday refused to confirm it, saying he had not visited the former abbot for several months.

According to Pol Gen Srivara, if officers later discover Phra Dhammajayo is not in the temple as claimed, those who earlier confirmed this, including Mr Ong-art, would be charged with giving false information.

The deputy police chief said it would take no more than three months to deal with Phra Dhammajayo.

"If the monk disappears, he would be regarded as "a fleeing suspect" and police will send the investigation report for his case to prosecutors," Pol Gen Srivara said.

Bangkokpost
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Offline thaiga

Re: 1,000 cops to nab 1 monk
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2016, 12:49:31 PM »
DSI says it's powerless to meet abbot's bail demand

A demand by wanted abbot Phra Dhammajayo that he be immediately granted bail when be surrenders to the authorities has been knocked back by the Department of Special Investigation as it does not have that authority.

DSI chief Paisit Wongmuang on Saturday revealed the demand was made in negotiations on Friday involving representatives of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, the DSI and officials from the National Office of Buddhism.

Mr Paisit said the DSI rejected the condition as the case involves an indictment by the Office of the Attorney General over the laundering of 12 billion baht from Klongchan Credit Union.

Only public prosecutors have the authority, he said.

The abbot has faced arrest since June when DSI officials attempted to enter Wat Dhammakaya but were met by hundreds of Dhammajayo supporters who blocked the gates with heavy construction machinery.

Pressure has been mounting on the DSI to bring Phra Dhammajayo in for charging, while complaints have been lodged against the temple's acting abbot for providing shelter to a criminal suspect.

The complaint was filed by the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Division against Phra Thattacheevo, also known as Phra Ratchapaowanajarn, after the deadline expired on Friday for Phra Dhammajayo to report to investigators in connection with a forest encroachment case in Nakhon Ratchasima.

The Sikhiu Provincial Court had approved a warrant for his arrest over alleged forest encroachment by the temple's World Peace Valley Meditation Centre at Khao Yai National Park in Nakhon Ratchasima's Pak Chong district.

The monk had until Friday to surrender to officers.

With no sign of the monk, the anti-environment crime officers went to Khlong Luang police station in Pathum Thani and filed the complaint against Phra Thattacheevo, accusing him of violating Section 189 of the Criminal Code by aiding the suspect.

Police are also seeking court approval for a warrant to search Wat Phra Dhammakaya, Pol Maj Gen Chayaphon Chatchaidet, acting chief of Special Branch 4, said yesterday.

Authorities held talks earlier with representatives of the temple regarding conditions for the monk's surrender and other legal procedures, he added.

Pol Maj Gen Worapong Thongbaiboon, acting chief of the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Division, said he was instructed by deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul to take legal action against the temple.

He said the acting abbot, who is considered a state official, would also face a charge of malfeasance in office.

He said he submitted to Khlong Luang police as evidence photos, documents and video clips by Ong-art Thamnitha, who represents Phra Dhammajayo's disciples.

On Nov 24 Mr Ong-art gave an interview that the abbot was still at the temple, but Phra Maha Nopporn Punyajayo, assistant director of Wat Phra Dhammakaya's communications team, on Wednesday refused to confirm it, saying he had not visited the former abbot for several months.

Khlong Luang police will summon Phra Thattacheevo for questioning.

Bangkokpost
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.
 

Offline thaiga

Re: 1,000 cops to nab 1 monk - Temple warns violence will flare in row
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2016, 02:11:31 PM »
Temple warns violence will flare in row

A Wat Phra Dhammakaya spokesman has warned the situation will "get out of control" if authorities go ahead with a plan to raid the temple and arrest its former abbot who is wanted on money laundering and forest encroachment charges.


A spokesman for these disciples of sect leader Phra Dhammajayo says they will resist a rumoured military-police raid and, 'There will be deaths and injuries'. (Photo via Dhammakaya Foundation)

Ong-art Thamnitha, who represents Dhammakaya's disciples, said authorities have treated the temple and its former abbot unfairly, and there are signs violence will break out between state authorities and the institution of Buddhism.

He made the remarks at a media briefing at the temple in Pathum Thani's Khlong Luang district Sunday as police and the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) prepare to meet again Monday to discuss a plan to arrest the embattled former abbot Phra Dhammajayo.

He claimed media reports have emerged that more than 3,000 officers from the DSI, the police force, and soldiers are prepared to raid the temple.

The operation will be supported by helicopters, police dogs, and water cannon trucks while nearby hospitals have been told to prepare for any emergencies, Mr Ong-art said.

This shows that authorities will use force against the temple's disciples who are gathering for prayers and mediation at Wat Dhammakaya, out of concern for Phra Dhammajayo.

"The operation could cause many deaths and injuries, and would become a major scandal ruining the country's reputation," Mr Ong-art said.

He said the issue is sensitive and could hurt the feelings of millions of Buddhist people.

"I want authorities to consider it carefully. If anything happens, I can't tell disciples to obey me because there are millions of them," Mr Ong-art said.

Pol Maj Gen Chayaphon Chatchaidet, acting chief of Police Special Branch Division 4, said police and the DSI are still discussing the operation plan to arrest the former abbot.

He denied reports authorities will raid the temple Tuesday. A source at the DSI said deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul will chair Monday's meeting at the Provincial Police Region 1 headquarters.

The plan will involve about 2,250 police officers, and 150 officers from the DSI, supported by soldiers and other agencies.

"The operation will start at dawn Tuesday, with DSI deputy chief Suriya Singhakamol expected to be assigned to oversee the operation," the source said.

Phra Dhammajayo is wanted on three arrest warrants.

On May 17, the Criminal Court approved an arrest warrant for Phra Dhammajayo for alleged involvement in money laundering and receiving stolen property in connection with the multi-million-baht Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative embezzlement scandal. The case was investigated by the DSI.

The DSI made its first attempt to arrest the former abbot at Wat Phra Dhammakaya on June 16 where he is allegedly holed up but failed as his followers gathered en masse and blocked authorities from entering.

The Sikhiu Provincial Court approved a warrant on Nov 17 for the arrest of the former abbot for alleged forest encroachment by the temple's World Peace Valley Meditation Centre at Khao Yai National Park in Nakhon Ratchasima's Pak Chong district.

The monk also faces an arrest warrant issued by the Loei Provincial Court on Aug 15 after a police probe found Wat Dhammakaya's meditation facility in Loei's Phu Rua encroached on a forest reserve.

Foreign Buddhist organisations on Sunday asked Prime Minister Prayut Cha-o-cha to make sure that no force will be used against Wat Dhammakaya.

In a open letter to Gen Prayut, Sabuj Barua, president of the Nirvana Peace Foundation based in Bangladesh, asked the prime minister to take necessary steps to protect Phra Dhammajayo as well as Buddhism in Thailand.

Mr Barua said Phra Dhammajayo has been dedicated to spreading the message of Buddhism and peace for Thailand and all over the world.

Mr Barua said the DSI has threatened to use force to arrest the former abbot.

"This type of action is contradictory to the Buddhist way," he said.

He also disagreed with the order suspending the temple's satellite TV channel, DMC, saying it violates the public's right to information.

Shasan Rakkhit Mahathero, the abbot of Panchari Shantipur Aranya Kutir in Bangladesh and a member of the World Theravada Buddhist Sangha Council, said in a open letter to Gen Prayut that if the DSI and the police raid Wat Dhammakaya, temples all over the world will be affected.

It is not a good example to raid a temple with heavy weapons, the monk said.

Bangkokpost
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