New warrant out for Phra Dhammajayo's arrest

New warrant out for Phra Dhammajayo's arrest

A large poster of Phra Dhammajayo, the abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, in front of a hall inside the temple in Pathum Thani.  (File photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)
A large poster of Phra Dhammajayo, the abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, in front of a hall inside the temple in Pathum Thani. (File photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)

LOEI - The Provincial Court has issued a warrant for the arrest of Phra Dhammajayo, the abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, for alleged encroachment on three forest reserves to build a forest monastery in Phu Rua district.

Pol Col Pitipat Tawatwichian, deputy chief of the provincial police in charge of the case, said investigators presented evidence to the court showing that Phra Dhammajayo had encroached on Phu Puay, Phu Khithao and Phu Rua forest reserves in Phu Rua district to build a forest monastery called Wat Pa Himmawan, a branch of Wat Phra Dhammakaya.

The court approved an arrest warrant for Phra Dhammajayo on Monday.

The caretaker for the property, Sakchai Mongkolkeha, was charged by police with conspiring in the alleged encroachment.  He had reported to police to hear the charges.

The provincial police sought court approval for the arrest of Phra Dhammajayo after deputy police chief Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul led police, soldiers and officials from the National Office of Buddhism in a search of Wat Pa Himmawan on July 14.

They found alleged evidence Phra Dhammajayo had falsely obtained Nor Sor 3 Kor documents for 10 blocks of land totalling 129 rai which are part of Phu Puay, Phu Khithao and Phu Rua forest reserves, violations under the Forestry Act, Land Act and National Forest Reserves Act.

Staff of Wat Phra Dhammakaya told the media later on Tuesday that the 129-rai land belonged to the temple, not its abbot, and the Phu Rua district chief wrote to the Loei governor on July 24 this year that the land was not a part of the three mentioned forest reserves.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (17)

US vows more business

US businessmen have pledged to press on with their investment plans in Thailand and called on the government to maintain momentum in tourism stimulus projects.

05:38

Plans for 2021

The government will accelerate investment next year in the areas of digital, wellness and the green economy, Finance Minister Arkom Termpittayapaisith says.

05:00

Post-Covid lIfe

Key industry players voice optimism 'Beyond the Pandemic.'

04:46