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Monk arrested in yaba sting operation

A 37-year-old Buddhist monk at Wat Sri Aun in Lampang’s Mae Tha district has been disrobed to face prosecution after being arrested in a drug sting operation early on Wednesday morning.

It is alleged that the Phuket-native monk, Yossapat Ratchaneekornkrailas, was dealing in “yaba” pills, which contain methamphetamine and caffeine.

In the sting operation, the monk was contacted via Line chat by drug suspect Niran Khamwong, who had earlier been nabbed with 10 yaba pills and identified the monk as his supplier.

Niran allegedly asked to buy 200 yaba pills for Bt12,000, and the monk was apprehended during a drug-delivery appointment at the temple at 2am. It is alleged that he required a Bt6,000 advance payment to a bank account.

A subsequent search of Yossapat’s room at the temple yielded another 189 yaba pills and a notebook computer. The suspect was then taken to the temple abbot, Phra Kru Sirichaipipat, who defrocked him.

Yossapat later told police that he bought 200-400 yaba pills at a time from another dealer whom he had never met, as they only made contact via Facebook and Line.

The dealer’s subordinate would collect the money from him and then a package of pills would be left in the temple area.

The Nation

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