Abbot's aide indicted for fraud

Abbot's aide indicted for fraud

A Bentley owned by suspected temple embezzler Apirat Jayankura Na Ayudhya was among the vehicles found during a raid on a condominium on March 23, the day he was arrested. (Photo: Crime Suppression Division)
A Bentley owned by suspected temple embezzler Apirat Jayankura Na Ayudhya was among the vehicles found during a raid on a condominium on March 23, the day he was arrested. (Photo: Crime Suppression Division)

Prosecutors have decided to indict an aide to the late abbot Somdej Phra Wannarat of Wat Bowon Niwet Vihara for fraud and falsifying documents causing damage in excess of 80 million baht.

In a lawsuit lodged with the Criminal Court on May 10, Apirat Jayankura Na Ayudhya, alias Noei, was accused of abusing the late monk's trust in embezzling tens of millions of baht from the temple's accounts.

The court has now accepted the lawsuit and scheduled June 13 to examine the evidence.

According to the suit, the alleged embezzlement occurred on Nov 23 and 24 last year when the suspect lied to the abbot, claiming he needed money to pay for temple repairs and workers' wages.

After obtaining the monk's authorisation, Mr Apirat withdrew the money and had it transferred to his personal accounts. The suspect allegedly made two withdrawals of 50 million baht and 30 million baht.

Apirat: Suspected of embezzling

The incident came to light after Somdej Phra Wannara died on March 15 this year, after battling gall bladder cancer. He was 85.

The temple’s committee filed a complaint with police accusing Mr Apirat of embezzling more than 190 million baht from the temple in Phra Nakhon district of Bangkok and its branches upcountry, including Wat Wachira Thamma Ram Ayutthaya, Wat Rattanawararam and Wat Khiri Vihara in Trat.

Mr Apirat, 39, was arrested on March 23 at a condominium in Bangkok. He denied the charges levelled against him.

The Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) early last month seized 14 assets worth 92 million baht linked to Mr Apirat and four other people.

They included condominium units worth more than 21 million baht, a Bentley valued at 15 million baht, a Porsche worth 6.9 million baht and a Tesla with a retail price of 3.1 million baht.

According to the Crime Suppression Division (CSD), the alleged embezzlement and falsification of documents serve as one of four cases against Mr Apirat. The other three are close to being concluded.

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


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (6)

Hong Kong football fans boo Chinese anthem

HONG KONG: Football fans in Hong Kong were heard booing China’s national anthem on Saturday at the first match open to spectators in the city since legislation outlawing the practice was passed more than two years ago.

22:16

Death toll doubles in Iran protest crackdown

The official death toll has nearly doubled to 35 in a crackdown by Iran’s security forces on more than a week of protests that erupted after the death of a young woman in custody.

21:45

Russia sacks top general in charge of logistics

KYIV: Moscow replaced its top logistics general on Saturday after a series of setbacks as Kremlin-held regions of eastern and southern Ukraine voted for a second day on becoming part of Russia.

21:25