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A police and military raiding party in Suphanburi found a compound of four houses set up as a Buddhist affairs office.
But it just contained fake monks who were using it as their HQ to rip off the gullible Thai public in Suphanburi and Kanchanaburi.
When the fake monks had collected money they shared out the loot and either used it in their normal daily lives or bought booze and had parties into the night Thai Rath reported.
Locals realized what was happening and called in the authorities.
But when 20 police and military personnel arrived at the four houses in a compound on the Suphan to Nakorn Pathom road yesterday evening they found just one man there.
He was “Phra Ort Apinantho” 57 who said he was in charge. He was asleep when the raiding party arrived.
He was in orange robes but an examination of his record showed that he was not a monk. He had already been defrocked.
He told the cops that he would go out with three or four others each day to collect money from the public in Suphan and Kanchanaburi. The gang would share out the spoils later in the day and then the party would begin.
The authorities found that the place was set up to appear like Buddhist offices but it had no signage and crucially no license to
operate at all. It was just a front for illegal activity.
They found ample evidence including donation envelopes and monks’ clothing – and lots of empty spirit and beer bottles.
“Phra Ort” said he didn’t know where his fellow fake monks were. They had probably got wind of the raid, he added.