Summons issued for acting abbot of Wat Dhammakaya

Summons issued for acting abbot of Wat Dhammakaya

PATHUM THANI -- Klong Luang district police have summonsed Phra Sutham Suthammo, as acting abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, to report for questioning on Dec 13.

Pol Lt Col Wichian Muansuwan, chief investigator of Klong Luang police, on Wednesday applied to Thanyaburi Provincial Court for an arrest warrant for Phra Sutham for providing shelter for Phra Dhammajayo, a suspect in a criminal case.

The court ordered police to instead issue a summons. The summons was subsequently issued for Phra Sutham to report for questioning on Dec 13 at 1pm.

The arrest warrant was sought after Pol Maj Gen Vorapong Thongpaiboon, acting commander of the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division, filed a complaint with Klong Luang police against the acting abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya for providing shelter for Phra Dhammajayo in connection with the alleged forest encroachment by the temple's World Peace Valley Meditation Centre at Khao Yai National Park in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Pak Chong district.

Phra Dhammajayo is also wanted under warrants for alleged forest encroachment in Loei province by the temple’s meditation centre there, and for alleged laundering of money and receiving stolen property involving hundreds of millions of baht embezzled from the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative by the co-op's former chairman.

Security checks on people going in and out of Wat Phra Dhammakaya in Klong Luang district remain strict, and many disciples continue round-the-clock prayers inside.

On Saturday, investigators handling the forest encroachment cases asked Klong Luang policed to summons Phra Thattacheevo, also known as Phra Ratchapaowanajarn, the acting abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. He is subject to a formal complaint under Section 189 of the Criminal Code for giving shelter to a person facing an arrest warrant. 

Investigators have previously explained it is not clear which of the two senior monks at the temple is actually acting abbot. 

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