Amlo freezes assets of alleged temple fraudster

Amlo freezes assets of alleged temple fraudster

Wat Bowonniwet Vihara is a first-class royal temple in Phra Nakhon district of Bangkok. (Photo: Wisit Thamngern)
Wat Bowonniwet Vihara is a first-class royal temple in Phra Nakhon district of Bangkok. (Photo: Wisit Thamngern)

The Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) has frozen assets worth more than 92 million baht held by five people including a man accused of embezzling some 190 million baht intended for a temple renovation project.

The freeze order, issued on May 10, covers 14 items held by Apirat Jayankura Na Ayudhya and four other people following a Crime Suppression Division (CSD) investigation into alleged fund embezzlement.

Mr Apirat was believed to be a close acquaintance of the late abbot of Wat Bowonniwet Vihara, Somdet Phra Wannarat, who died on March 15.

The suspected embezzlement occurred while the monk was receiving treatment for gall bladder cancer at Chulalongkorn Hospital.

The frozen assets included Bentley, Porsche, Volvo and Tesla cars, two condominium units and several bank accounts. The luxury cars were among assets seized by the CSD during the March 23 arrest of Mr Apirat.

CSD deputy commander Pol Col Anek Taosuphap said on Friday that Amlo is looking at other suspected ill-gotten items.

He said the CSD has divided the investigation against Mr Apirat into four cases with one of them wrapped up and forwarded to prosecutors on May 9.

The case involves the alleged falsification of documents and fund embezzlement at a temple in Ayutthaya, Pol Col Anek said, adding that the investigations into the three other cases are almost complete.

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