DSI free to indict Dhammajayo at any time
The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) insisted on Friday that investigators could proceed with indicting Wat Phra Dhammakaya abbot Phra Dhammajayo without having to wait until the controversial monk is detained.
The monk has repeatedly failed to come forward to acknowledge charges of money laundering and receiving stolen assets in connection with the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC) embezzlement case despite the Criminal Court having approved an arrest warrant against him.
When the investigation in this case is completed, investigators will then begin considering indicting the 72-year-old abbot, said DSI chief Paisit Wongmuang.
The ongoing negotiations with Phra Dhammajayo for him to turn himself into authorities was only a part of the law enforcement process in this case, he said.
The DSI and the Medical Council of Thailand, meanwhile, are continuing their probes into a medical doctor at Fort Phanurangsi Hospital who allegedly issued a false medical certificate used by the abbot to support his claim that he was too ill to turn up to meet the DSI investigators as required, said Pol Col Paisit. The DSI now expects to wrap up the investigation shortly.
In related news, Pol Lt Col Pakorn Sucheevakun, director of the DSI's Bureau of Financial and Banking Crime, formally pressed additional charges against former cooperative chairman Supachai Srisupa-aksorn yesterday after the DSI found additional evidence. The new evidence concerned five cheques showing an additional 200 million baht of money allegedly embezzled from the KCUC had been paid to some suspects linked to Supachai, he said.
The director met with Supachai for two hours on Friday, at Bangkwang Central Prison in the presence of his lawyer, Wanchai Bunnag. The additional charges are colluding to launder and jointly laundering money, and jointly receiving stolen properties, said Pol Lt Col Pakorn.
With the newly discovered funds embezzled in this case, the total loss now amounts to 1.4 billion baht from the previous 1.2 billion baht, he added.
Supachai, who admitted to siphoning money from the cooperative's accounts in 2013, was previously sentenced by the Criminal Court to 16 years in jail.
The DSI decided to press charges against Phra Dhammajayo after its investigation into the embezzlement case found more than 20 cashier's cheques worth more than 2 billion baht were paid by Supachai to the abbot and his associates.