Drug raid arrests leave temple without monks
Chumphon: The abbot of a local temple in the province's Tha Sae district was arrested and charged with possession of an illicit drug after police found 10 speed pills and paraphernalia in his living quarters.
Pol Col Thanee Nakwihok, superintendent of the Chumphon provincial police office, said the drugs and paraphernalia were seized during an inspection at Wat Khao Kaeo following complaints of monks using illegal drugs at the temple.
A packet of 10 methamphetamine pills was found in the living quarters of Phra Nanthasak Rakphrom, the temple abbot, who admitted to buying them for 80 baht apiece, police said.
Police also found paraphernalia but no drugs in the living quarters of three other monks, Phra Kritsada Sornwichian, Phra Thirapat Supawong and Phra Jirasak Silpa-jarn.
Police reportedly conducted urine tests on the four monks and lay disciple Watcharin Kornsupan and the results came back positive.
Pol Col Thanee said the four monks admitted to taking drugs and were taken before the abbot of Wat Nong Rua for defrocking before they were charged with drug offences.
He said the four were then sent to Tha Sae Hospital for more tests and could be considered drug users who will undergo a drug rehab programme if the results are confirmed.
The local community said Wat Khao Kaeo was left without a single monk after its abbot and three monks were defrocked.