It was me, not him, claims disgraced monk's brother
A young brother of defrocked monk Wirapol Sukphol, who his accused of having affairs with women while in the monkhood, now claims he is the person in a controversial photograph of a man who looks very much like his brother sleeping with another person - possibly a female.
- Published: 24/07/2013 at 03:45 PM
- Newspaper section: news
Suree Sukphol, 31, said on Tuesday that he entered monkhood after Mr Wirapol became a monk, staying for for three to four years. Many people told him that he bears a striking resemblance to his 34-year-old brother.
"When I was a monk, I did wrong by sleeping with my girlfriend and with prostitutes as I was a youth at the time," Mr Suree said. "I can confirm that the man in the photo that was widely shown by the media is me."
The former monk said he believed the photograph was taken when he was drunk at a resort and the person who took the photo wanted to blackmail him.
Suree Sukphol: That's me in the photo.
He said the woman in the photo was the same person who claimed that she was his brother Wirapol's wife.
"I'm sorry for damaging Buddhism and apologise to the followers of Mr Wirapol after I've damaged his reputation. I feel sorry for my brother, who has to stay abroad and cannot return to his homeland, and I'm ready for a DNA test," Mr Suree said.
However, netizens in different web boards and discussion forums said they did not believe that Mr Suree was the man in the photograph.
One poster on Pantip.com with the alias gamem13 posted collages of photos of Mr Wirapol and Mr Suree. The poster said the ear and nose shapes and the moles of the man visible in the photo resemble Mr Wirapol not his young brother.
Pol Col Songsak Raksaksakul, director of the Foreign Affairs and Transnational Crime Bureau under the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), said on Wednesday that Mr Wirapol, formerly known as Luang Pu Nen Kham Chattiko, was among a group of 10 monks who left the country on May 21, 2013.
He said six of them had since returned to Thailand. Mr Wirapol and the three others were believed to be in the United States.
Col Chatchanan Methithammaporn, deputy director of the DSI's Bureau of Security Crime, said the department will summon Mr Wirapol's parents and Mr Suree for questioning soon.
He said the DSI will take legal action against Mr Suree if it is proven that he lied about the controversial photo.
The DSI had an important witness who could testify that Mr Wirapol did have a child by a woman when he was a monk. The witness would also indentify three or four locations where the disgraced former monk allegedly took drugs and had sex with women, he added.
Netizens say the ear and nose shapes and the moles of the man visible in the photo resemble Mr Wirapol not his young brother. (Photo taken from Pantip.com)
On Monday, Vimutti Dhamma Buddhist group chairman Sukhum Wongprasitthi said Mr Wirapol will return to Thailand on July 31 and that six prominent lawyers will represent him in his passport revocation and extradition cases. One of them is a famous lawyer from Hollywood, he said.
It is believed that Mr Wirapol left Paris for the United States earlier this month. The 34-year-old high-flying former monk has not spoken to the media since a video clip of him and two other monks riding in a private jet went viral on the internet last month.
Mr Wirapol is wanted on an arrest warrant on charges of violating the Computer Crimes Act, fraud and sexually assaulting a minor as well as unlawfully separating her from her parents.
His passport, issued on July 6, 2011, is now invalid.
About the author
- Writer: Online Reporters
- Position: Online Reporters