Monk's bank accounts suspicious, Amlo says | Bangkok Post: learning

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Monk's bank accounts suspicious, Amlo says

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The controversial monk caught on tape riding in a private jetliner has numerous "financial irregularities," the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) revealed on Tuesday. 

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A screengrab from the famous YouTube video of monks in a private jet.

'Jet-setter' monk linked to money laundering

King-oua Laohong

Phra Wirapol Sukphol – better known as Luang Pu Nen Kham Chattiko

The controversial monk caught on tape riding in a private jetliner has numerous "financial irregularities" - such as 10 of 16 bank accounts belonging to him and aides that have more than 200 million baht in constant circulation, the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) revealed on Tuesday.

Amlo banned the monk and his associates from transferring any assets until suspicions of money laundering are cleared up.

Amlo said it inspected 16 bank accounts belonging to the monk, Phra Wirapol Sukphol – better known as Luang Pu Nen Kham Chattiko – and his close associates.

Phra Wirapol is a senior monk at Wat Pa Khanti Tham temple in Si Sa Ket's Kanthararom district.

The 34-year-old high-profile monk held 10 bank accounts, six of which had deposit transfers of two million baht or more, Amlo deputy chief Suwanee Sawaengphol said.

The accounts were circulating more than 200 million baht in total, with significant movements of currency almost every day, making them suspicious, Pol Capt Suwanee added.

"I want to warn Luang Pu Nen Kham’s network and Luang Pu himself that they don’t move assets shown in the bank accounts because doing so will immediately fall into the category of money laundering.

“If the money has been used to buy cars or an airplane, such assets will be illegal too, according to money laundering law, and they will be confiscated,” she said.

“Even though Luang Pu can claim that the money has been voluntarily donated by members of the public, if the money was obtained by exploitation of people’s faith through fraud and scams, they are also illegal under the money laundering law.”

Amlo could not confirm yet whether the alleged money laundering was related to any illegal drug business, as claimed in some media reports, she added.

A Bangkok Post artist mocks Luang Pu Nen Kham Chattiko and his luxurious lifestyle in a cartoon published in the newspaper on June 22.

The Amlo deputy chief said her reports of the 200-million baht figure included only commercial banks’ cash transaction reports. By law, banks must report any transaction of 2 million baht or more to Amlo. She said there were no reports yet on transfers of lesser amounts.

Based on evidence gathered so far, said Pol Capt Suwanee, it was "obvious" that Luang Pu Nen Kham and what she called the monk's inner "network" appeared to have violated the money laundering law, as a consequence of public fraud through several projects. She cited construction of a hospital, and a project to build the world's biggest replica image of the Emerald Buddha, and said each of these projects had resulted in the opening of bank accounts.

The plans may have deceived people into donating money, she said.

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Vocabulary:

aide: someone whose job is to help another person in their work - ผู้ช่วย

alleged: claimed to be true although not yet proven; claimed to have done something wrong but not yet proven - ที่ถูกกล่าวหา

assets: things owned by a person, company etc., particularly money and property - ทรัพย์สิน

associate: someone you work with, especially in a business - ที่ร่วมมือกัน

banned: officially prevented from doing something - ห้าม ห้างอย่างเด็ดขาด

cash: money in the form of notes or coins - เงินสด

category: a group having similar qualities - ประเภท

circulation: the passing of money from one person to another - การหมุนเวียนของเงินสด, กระแสเงิน

cited: mentioned as an example, explanation or proof of something else - อ้าง, กล่าวอ้าง

claim: to say that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - อ้าง

confiscated: officially taken away - ถูกยึด

consequence: result of effect of something - ผลที่ตามมา

constant: continuous; all the time - ต่อเนื่อง

construction: the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. - การก่อสร้าง

controversial: causing disagreement or disapproval - ซึ่งก่อให้เกิดการโต้แย้ง

deceive: to persuade someone that something false is the truth - หลอก

deposit: money kept in a bank account - เงินฝาก

deputy: a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง

donate: to give something such as money or goods to an organisation, especially to a temple, charity, school, political party, etc. - บริจาค

evidence: facts statements or objects that help to prove whether or not someone has committed a crime - หลักฐาน

exploitation: unfair treatment of someone, or the use of a situation in a way that is wrong - การใช้หาประโยชน์อย่างไม่ถูกต้อง

faith: trust in somebody's ability or knowledge; trust that somebody/something will do what has been promised - ศรัทธา

figure: a number representing a particular amount, especially one given in official information - ตัวเลข, จำนวนเลข

financial: involving money - เกี่ยวกับเงิน, ทางการเงิน

fraud: the crime of intentionally deceiving someone or cheating in order to gain an advantage or benefit - การฉ้อโกง การหลอกลวง เล่ห์เพทุบาย

high-profile: creating a lot of public attention - เป็นที่สนใจจากคนในสังคม

illegal: against the law - ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย

image: a photograph, painting, or other work of art that represents a person or thing - รูปภาพ

immediately: happening right after something else with no delay; right away - ทันที

inspect: to look at something carefully - ตรวจสอบ, ตรวจสอบอย่างละเอียด

irregularity: a situation in which the rules, laws, or usual ways of doing things have not been followed - การปฏิบัติที่ไม่เป็นไปตามระเบียบปกติ

media: newspapers, television, radio, etc. - สื่อ

money laundering: hiding the origin of money obtained from illegal activities by putting it into legal businesses - การฟอกเงิน

network: a large system of connected parts, organisations, people, etc. - เครือข่าย

obtain: to get something that you want or need, especially by going through a process that is difficult - ได้มา, ได้รับ

obvious: clear; easy to see, recognise or understand - ชัดเจน

private: owned by a particular person or group - ของส่วนบุคคล, ของเอกชน

replica: an accurate copy of something - งานศิลปะที่จำลองจากของจริง, ของจำลอง

revealed: made known or showed somthing that was surprising or that was previously secret - เปิดเผย

scam: a dishonest plan, especially for getting money - กลโกง, แผนร้าย

screengrab: a photo/picture taken from the screen of a computer -

senior: with a high rank or position - อาวุโส

significant: large or important enough to have an effect or to be noticed - ซึ่งมีความหมาย

suspicion: a belief that a crime has been committed - ความสงสัย

transaction: a business dealing - การติดต่อทางธุรกิจ

transfer: to move someone or something from one place, vehicle, person or group to another - ย้าย

violate: to do something that is against a law, rule or agreement - ฝ่าฝืน, ละเมิด

voluntarily: done because you choose to do it rather than because you have to - ด้วยความสมัครใจ

warn: to make someone aware of a possible problem or danger - เตือน

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