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Two Chinese men were caught “red-handed” while apparently stealing from a donation box at a much-respected temple in Bangkok’s Prawet district on Monday.
The suspects were arrested by police immediately after they had allegedly taken Bt890 from a donation box inside the Chao Pho Sua Shrine of Wat Krathoom Sua Pla at 10am.
The two were identified as Mu Yoping, 37, and Chen Xaojung, 39.
Officers from Prawet police station staked out at the spot after an official of the temple filed a complaint that donations from boxes inside the shrine appeared to have been stolen, as there was less money than normal in them even though a large number of Chinese tourists had visited the temple.
Police saw the two suspects arrive and one of them lowered a short flat piece of metal, which was wrapped with adhesive tape and tied to a rope, into a donation box and pulled it out with banknotes and coins attached to it.
The officers then came out of hiding and arrested them.
The two said they had travelled from Shanghai and were staying in the Yaowaraj area, from where they had taken a taxi to visit the temple.
They said their friends had told them that the temple was sacred and that by visiting it their wishes would come true.
They refused to say whether they had stolen from a donation box of a “sacred temple”, police said.