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  1. #1
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    Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk

    Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk
    18 minutes ago

    Thai police have entered a Buddhist temple on the outskirts of Bangkok in a bid to arrest a monk wanted in connection with alleged money laundering.

    Officers began raiding the site on Thursday after previous attempts were thwarted when thousands of the monk's devotees turned up in his defence.

    The Wat Dhammakaya temple was earlier placed under military control. The spiritual leader is believed to be hiding inside the large compound.

    Phra Dhammajayo is accused of embezzling funds from the huge temple in Bangkok, but when officers attempted to search the site last June they were blocked by his supporters.

    The 72-year-old abbot has remained inside the temple for months, saying he is too ill to face officials. He denies the allegations and says they are politically motivated.

    Earlier on Thursday hundreds of police and soldiers surrounded the site, blocking the roads leading to and from the temple and putting the area under military control.
    "We are sealing off the temple and after that we will search all the buildings," said Col Paisit Wongmaung, head of the Department of Special Investigations (DSI).

    "If [the abbot] thinks he is innocent he should surrender and enter judicial process," he said.

    Some 4,000 police and military were deployed with blockades "prohibiting anyone from entering or leaving", the temple said in a statement.

    There have been several failed attempts to persuade the former abbot to leave the temple.
    Thailand has been run by the military since a coup in 2014.

    Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk - BBC News

  2. #2
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    beerlaodrinker's Avatar
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    Thailand seems to be getting stranger by the day.

  3. #3
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    Fail

    Chronology of failed raid Thursday
    February 16, 2017 18:41
    By The Nation


    1.30am – Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, in his capacity as the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) chief, declares Dhammakaya Temple a special control zone.

    2.30am – Soldiers set up checkpoints around the temple, barring entry to people not related to the authorities’ operation.

    3.30am – Police arrive at the temple. Other police units are put on standby at the nearby Border Patrol Police Region 1.

    5am – Police post announcements regarding alleged offences committed by temple staff and its honorary abbot, Phra Dhammachayo, at Gates 5 and 6. Masked temple followers are seen observing and taking pictures of officials.

    6am – More police are stationed at gates 5, 6, 7 and 8. Roads around the temple are closed to traffic.

    6.30am – Police and soldiers control gates 5 and 6. People are allowed to leave the temple but no one is allowed to enter, which upsets some temple followers. Prayers inside the Dhammakaya Temple start peacefully.

    7am – Monks returning from morning alms are barred from entering the temple. Their followers argue with officials but the altercation ends peacefully. The temple’s radio broadcast announces that authorities should not restrict people’s right to practise Dhamma.

    7.30am – Department of Special Investigation (DSI) deputy chief Pol Lt-Colonel Suriya Singhakamon and his team enter the temple to begin negotiations.

    7.40am – Negotiations between the DSI and the temple begin.

    11.30am –Temple staff agree to let the DSI search the temple.

    1.15pm – The DSI cuts the chains at the temple’s Gate 1.

    1.20pm – The gates are open and officials enter without resistance.

    1.50pm – Resistance builds as the DSI enters Gate 8 to search a building close to the Chan Khonnokyoong Memorial Hall.

    3.50pm – DSI officials leave the temple empty-handed, saying they had not found Phra Dhammachayo.

    5.30pm – The DSI announces that they have finished searching the entire Zone A and parts of Zone C at the temple.

    *** The operation is being conducted under a search warrant that is valid for 10 days. The area remains designated a special control zone to facilitate the search.
    The Nation - Thailand's News in English
    probes Aliens

  4. #4
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    Special control zone...

    Huh?

  5. #5
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Ah . Religion and money . Who would have thought they were so closely intertwined

    Apart from the penis enhancing motor vehicles I am sure they will find a plush lounge ,bar and chrome pole

    Sad parasites

  6. #6
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    Searched zone A and part of zone C. Today, finish search of zone C and search part of zone B.
    Meanwhile, last night, all contraband in zone B and fugitives are moved into zone A as that will not be searched again.

    It's so moronic that I have to believe that the authorities will do everything in their power to NOT arrest the monk but will put on a show for the public.

  7. #7
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    Pass the popcorn...Quite a show, it is...

    Maybe a new board game...

    Finding Buddha...

    From the makers of the Buffalo Board...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldrick View Post
    Ah . Religion and money . Who would have thought they were so closely intertwined

    Apart from the penis enhancing motor vehicles I am sure they will find a plush lounge ,bar and chrome pole

    Sad parasites

    Corrected slightly:
    Religion, Military, Monarchy, and Money

  9. #9
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    The Amway Buddhism sect.

  10. #10
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    Any update on this? So they didn't find the monk? How hard can it be to find/catch a 72 y.o. physically ill monk?


  11. #11
    Sukhumvet
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    First job for the new Chief Poobah Patriarch?

    Request an audience with the abbot to ask him about the allegations?

    Call the police? Call the Church police!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    Any update on this? So they didn't find the monk? How hard can it be to find/catch a 72 y.o. physically ill monk?
    Hiding in an oil drum, perhaps.


    Or sitting comfortably many miles away.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk
    ...perhaps someone put an Easter egg in an orange basket to throw them off...

  14. #14
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    Thai cops find tunnel in manhunt for elderly monk


    The Flying Saucer Temple I think he was Beamed up by Scotty

    Thai cops have uncovered secret tunnels running underneath a space-age temple of the controversial Dhammakaya Buddhist sect, as their manhunt for an elusive elderly monk accused of massive embezzlement entered a second day.

    Thousands of officers are involved in the search for the 72-year-old monk Phra Dhammachayo, who is believed to be holed up in the vast Wat Dhammakaya temple grounds on the outskirts of Bangkok.

    The former abbot, who founded the breakaway Buddhist order in 1970 and has marshalled its prodigious rise, is accused of money laundering and accepting embezzled funds worth $33 million from the jailed owner of a cooperative bank.

    But in an increasingly bizarre cat-and-mouse game, cops were frustrated for a second day running as they were led by orange-robed monks through endless rooms and hallways in the 1,000-acre site.

    On Thursday police found a 1.5 kilometre tunnel -- spilt into two routes -- dug under the UFO-like temple that dominates the site, which may have been used by the ex-abbot as a place to hide.

    "It only has one entrance but it does not go outside of the temple," Police Colonel Worranan Srilum, deputy spokesman for the DSI -- Thailand's equivalent of the FBI -- told reporters.

    They also searched a sick bay used by the former abbot, but instead of finding their quarry, pulled back an orange robe covering several pillows arranged to look like a sleeping person.

    "The Dhammakaya temple area is sprawling so it will have to take time to search... we can't find him yet, but our intelligence insists that he is still inside (the) temple," he added.

    The sweep of the powerful and ultra-rich Wat Dhammakaya temple comes after Thailand's junta chief invoked special powers to put its sprawling compound under military control.

    Temple officials say the ex-abbot is innocent and deny knowledge of his whereabouts.

    Thailand's secular authorities are normally reluctant to intervene in the affairs of the clergy in the Buddhist-majority country.

    But the Dhammakaya sect has long been in the firing line. Critics accuse the temple of promoting a pay-your-way to nirvana philosophy, burnished with "cultish" mass shows of devotion and a sophisticated PR machine.


    The temple is also mired in the kingdom's treacherous politics, with rumoured links to ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 coup and still hated by the Bangkok elite and their military allies.

    Thai cops find tunnel in manhunt for elderly monk

  15. #15
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    The plot thickens...

  16. #16
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    I read that he left the temple one day before the raid, and that he couldn't flee too far for health reasons (unless he has other facilities readied somewhere else)

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Officials start to screen out outsiders from Dhammakaya temple

    All monks and lay people who do not have residence in Wat Dhammakaya were told to get out of the temple ground at 3 pm today (Sunday) as officials of the Department of Special Investigation and police started to depopulate the temple to facilitate their search for Phra Dhammachayo and to prevent his followers from regrouping.

    Meanwhile, monks are lay people who have residence in the temple were told to report themselves to authorities at Gate 6 to have their ID cards checked and registered in a bid to prevent outsiders from taking refuge in the temple.

    Outsiders who were not registered will face imprisonment of up to one year and/or a fine of up to 20,000 baht for defying NCPO Order No 5/2560 if they are caught inside the temple ground.

    The new measure was adopted after a discussion this morning by DSI chief Pol Col Paisit Wongmuang, Region 1 Provincial Police commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Charnthep Saesawech and Maj-Gen Pallop Fuangfoo, commander of the Anti-Aircraft Division, to evaluate the search operations in the past three days and the situation.

    Pol Col Paisit said there were still several outsiders in the temple, making it difficult for the authorities to do their job efficiently. Also, he said some elements had spread false news among Dhammakaya followers that any of them who left the temple would be interrogated or face legal action, prompting several elderly people and those who are sick to become reluctant to leave.

    It was reported that several Dhammakaya followers had been gathering at Gate 5 and Gate 6 since this morning after they learned that the authorities would begin screening people in the temple.

    Officials start to screen out outsiders from Dhammakaya temple - Thai PBS English News

  18. #18
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    Any sensible commanding officer would have sealed the premises with chains. FFS, he had 3500 men at his disposal.
    An armed guard cadre at each locked gate, and the single entrance unlocked is in complete control of the authorities. Expelling non-residents should have occurred on the first day, and vetting them as they do it.

    Enid Blyton wrote it, I think: Noddy Goes Arresting.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    DSI summons top temple monks

    THE DEPARTMENT of Special Investigation (DSI) has asked for police and troop reinforcements and planned to cut off electricity and water to Dhammakaya Temple last night.


    A DSI source said reinforcements were needed because a large number of followers had rushed in to obstruct their mission.

    Busloads of supporters were also arriving from the provinces.

    The source said officers would not raid the temple at night because there was a high risk of the action causing a confrontation and damage. Instead, they would seal off the temple and shut down its power and water supply, as such an action was allowed by under the order issued by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

    For reinforcements, four companies of police – around 600 officers – would be deployed from Samut Prakan and Saraburi at temple’s fifth and sixth gates to control the temple followers, who broke through the police line |yesterday afternoon and tried to obstruct the operation.

    The DSI invoked two Article 44 orders from the NCPO to tell 14 monks from Temple to report to the DSI director-general at the Border Patrol Police Region 1 by 6pm, then later yesterday. But the 14 monks had not presented themselves as of press time.

    more DSI summons top temple monks

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Summary: the government telegraphs its intentions to search the temple; protesters are given time to organize; the temple is searched high and low: no uber monk, but a tunnel is discovered!; government decides to remove people who aren't suspects; uber monk still missing, temple still occupied: Road runner vs Wily Coyotes...screenwriters take note!
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit
    Busloads of supporters were also arriving from the provinces.
    AKA 'rent a crowd'.

  22. #22
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit
    commander of the Anti-Aircraft Division
    I guess this is to shoot down the flying saucer if it tries to flee

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    Summary: the government telegraphs its intentions to search the temple; protesters are given time to organize; the temple is searched high and low: no uber monk, but a tunnel is discovered!; government decides to remove people who aren't suspects; uber monk still missing, temple still occupied: Road runner vs Wily Coyotes...screenwriters take note!
    Yeah, now it's giving them pre-warning that the water and power will be turned off, so fill your bottles and buckets, and stock up on candles.
    It's a farce.

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam
    Yeah, now it's giving them pre-warning that the water and power will be turned off, so fill your bottles and buckets, and stock up on candles. It's a farce.
    But unfortunately the world is watching. Slowly slowly catch a monk-ey.
    Last edited by Pragmatic; 20-02-2017 at 08:10 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam
    stock up on candles
    They have gensets. But someone took all their diesel

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