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Pilot reveals monk's scandalous life

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Luang Pu Nen Kham Chattiko was suspiciously wealthy says a pilot who took him on 300,000-baht flights, paid for in cash. He had a taste for young girls too, a former aide says. 

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Luang Pu Nen Kham Chattiko with a wad of US $100 bills (each worth about 3,000 baht), one of the acts that led Wg Cdr Piya Tregalnon to post photos and condemnation of the monk on his Facebook page.

Pilot reveals monk's scandalous life

Lamphai Intathep

The hidden life of super luxury led by embattled monk Phra Wirapol Sukphol, better known as Luang Pu Nen Kham Chattiko, has been exposed by a pilot who used to find private jet rentals for the holy man.

A message, claimed to be written by Bangkok Aviation Centre founder and CEO Piya Tregalnon, revealing the jet-setting monk's unusual wealth has been shared widely on social networks.

Wing Commander Piya Sunday confirmed he posted the message on his Facebook page.

"I have been wondering for three years why the monk has such large amounts of money and assets. He is not even a very famous monk," he said.

"When he came into the spotlight, I decide to speak out as I think his wealth is suspicious."

Wing Commander Piya Tregalnon (right) posted this photo of himself with Luang Pu Nen Kham Chattiko during a charter flight.

The Facebook post dates back three years, when Wg Cdr Piya was asked to find a seven-seat private jet for the monk to travel back and forth between Bangkok and Ubon Ratchathani.

The monk always paid in cash — about 300,000 baht for each rental, Wg Cdr Piya said.

The monk also showed interest in buying his own private jet, which can cost 500-700 million baht for a new plane and at least 100 million baht for a second-hand craft.

The monk often travelled in a super luxury Maybach-brand car and boasted that he had a Mercedes-Benz S500, a BMW X6 and a Mini Cooper just for driving inside the temple compound. He also claimed to have a yacht, Wg Cdr Piya said.

The monk also showed bundles of US$100 (3,129 baht) banknotes fully packed in his kitbag and claimed he also had gold bars inside, he said.

He showed two chequebooks of US banks with his name printed on every cheque.

The monk said he could withdraw more than $10 million for each cheque because he had a lot of money deposited in the banks, Wg Cdr Piya said.

He said he distanced himself from Luang Pu Nen Kham after the monk asked him to buy a private jet in the US.

"I am not afraid of being charged at all after revealing this issue. I wrote what I had seen with my own eyes. I do not want to see a person who exploited Buddhists' faith to obtain money to remain at large," the pilot said.

Meanwhile, a former close aide of Phra Wirapol told the Department of Special Investigation Sunday the monk had drunk alcohol, taken illicit drugs and had sex with many teenage girls.

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Vocabulary:

(DSI) Department of Special Investigation: a police department investigating serious crimes involving influential people, organised crime, or crimes using highly sophisticated technology - กรมสอบสวนคดีพิเศษ

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

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

at large: not having been caught by the police - ลอยนวล, ยังไม่ถูกจับกุม

aviation: the flying of aircraft - การบิน

back and forth: from one place to another and back again repeatedly - ไปๆ มาๆ, กลับไปกลับมา

bar: a long straight piece of metal or wood - ท่อน

boast: to proudly tell other people what you can do or have done - คุยโว, โว, โม้, โอ้อวด

brand: a type of product made by a particular company - ตรา, ยี่ห้อ

bundle: a number of things tied or wrapped together - มัดหรือห่อ

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

chief executive officer (CEO): the person with the highest rank in a company or an organisation - ผู้บริหารสูงสุด, ซีอีโอ (ประธานบริหาร)

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

compound: an area enclosed by a fence or wall in which people work or live - บริเวณ

condemnation: a public statement in which someone criticises someone or something severely - การประนามหยามเหยียด

craft: aircraft; any vehicle that can fly and carry goods or passengers - สิ่งต่างๆ ที่สร้างสำหรับการบิน

deposit: to put money into a bank account - ฝากเงิน (ทางการธนาคาร)

distance: to become, or to make somebody/something become, less involved or connected with somebody/something - ถอยห่าง

embattled: experiencing a lot of problems - ที่ถูกโจมตี

exploit: to use for your own benefit - หาประโยชน์จาก

exposed: made known; uncovered - เปิดเผยต่อ

faith: strong religious belief - ศรัทธาในศาสนา

founder: a person who establishes an institution, business, or organisation - ผู้ก่อตั้ง

illicit: against the law - ผิดกฎหมาย

issue: a problem that needs to be considered - ประเด็น

kitbag: a long narrow bag, usually made of canvas in which clothes and other possessions are carried - ถุงย่าม

luxury: the best and most expensive of something - ที่หรูหรา 

message: a piece of written or spoken information that you send to someone, especially when you cannot speak to them directly - ข่าวสาร, ข้อความ

pilot: a person who operates the controls of an aircraft, especially as a job - นักบิน

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

rental: the act of renting something or an arrangement to rent something - การเช่า

reveal: to let something become known - เปิดเผย

scandalous: making people shocked and upset - ซึ่งเสื่อมเสียชื่อเสียง, อื้อฉาว

second-hand: not new; owned by somebody else before - ใช้แล้ว, มือสอง

social network: websites or other services on the internet for communication with people who share your interests - เครือข่ายสังคม

spotlight: the centre of public attention - จุดสนใจของผู้คน, เป็นที่สนใจ

suspicious: making you believe that something is wrong, dangerous or illegal - น่าสงสัย

wad: a thick pile or ball of money, papers, etc. - เงินหรือกระดาษกองโต

wealth: a large amount of money, property, etc. that a person or country owns - ความมั่งคั่ง

withdraw: to take money out of a bank account - ถอนเงินจากธนาคาร

wonder: to think about something because you want to know more facts or details about it - สงสัย

yacht: a large expensive boat that is often used for racing or sailing - เรือยอชท์, เรือท่องเที่ยว,เรือเที่ยวเล่น,เรือแข่ง

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