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On Monday the Department of Special Investigation was urged by a former member of the National Reform Council to speed up investigation into a luxury car allegedly owned by Somdet Phra Maharatchamangalacharn, the abbot of Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen.
He claimed that the public was doubtful about the Somdet Phra Maharatchamangalacharn’s alleged ownership of the car, a Mercedes Benz sedan, worth less than four million baht. He said that the probe was intended to clear up any suspicion that the car ownership was not illegal.
The senior monk was nominated by the Sang Supreme Council the 20th supreme patriarch at a secret meeting on January 5.
Mr Paiboon said he would meet with the ombudsman tomorrow with a request for him to interpret Section 7 of the monastic law regarding the procedure of the nomination of the supreme patriarch.
He contended that it should be the prime minister who nominate the supreme patriarch with the approval of the Sangha Supreme Council not the other way round.
The DSI chief meanwhile disclosed that the department was investigating two batches of luxury cars – one batch of 500 cars each worth more than 4 million baht and another batch of 5,000 units each of which is worth less than 4 million baht.
He said that Somdet Phra Maharatchamangalacharn’s Mercedes was among the second group. Registration of the car was revoked and it is now kept at a museum at Wat Pankan Phasi Charoen.