Driving monks arrested in Sukhothai

SUKHOTHAI - Two monks were arrested on Wednesday after they were seen driving a car from their temples to ask for alms in the provincial town - but that was just the start of their problems.

Pairoj Poonmanee, 56, and Chat Supottoh, 36, were apprehended after they finished their rounds asking for alms at the central market in Sukhothai town, said Suthep Praparkarn, superintendent of the Muang district police station.

While investigating the two for driving, police searched the Honda City car and found two condoms, an underground lottery ticket, and equipment for administering methamphetamine or ya baa. Drug tests then were administered, and police said the urine testing turned up positive for recent drug use.

They were disrobed and charged by police.

Mr Pairoj had an outstanding arrest warrant on drug charges issued by the Ban Rai police station in Sri Samrong district, according to police. He had avoided arrest by becoming a monk at Wat Khlong Haeng in Sawankhalok district.

Once a monk, Mr Pairoj told police, he found that the people in the area of his temple were not generous with offerings, so he invited Mr Chat, an acquaintance who was a monk at Wat Khon Sung, to drive into the city where they could earn around 300 baht per day from alms.

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