Sri Racha —
Chonburi immigration raided and dismantled a fraudulent monk gang that was hiding on a mountain in the Sri Racha district.
The operation was initiated following complaints from both real monks and local residents about a group of Cambodian individuals dressed as monks deceiving locals and extorting money.
Undercover officers and immigration had been monitoring the group’s activities before carrying out the raid on November 30th. The arresting team, led by Chonburi immigration chief Pol Col Parinya Klinkesorn, raided the group’s hideout concealed in the foliage of a mountain in Sri Racha and arrested four Cambodian nationals.
Upon inspection, it was revealed that these individuals did not possess any travel documents or monk certificates and had been residing in Thailand for at least two to ten years without proper permission.
Pol Col Parinya further revealed that this gang had been operating at the Suphakrit Market in the Surasak area, having falsely claimed to be monks from the Buddha Nimit Temple and soliciting money from shoppers.
Preliminary questioning revealed that the group was part of a larger gang hiding in the mountain. However, Pol Col Parinya disclosed that many suspects managed to escape when their makeshift shelter was raided.
Left behind at the hideout were identification cards, some cash, kitchen utensils, and various other items.
Phra Khru Rangsan, a local Thai monk, reported that these fake monks had caused harm to Buddhism and legitimate temples. He believed that there are at least 10 remaining suspects who are still hiding on the mountain.
The authorities gathered evidence, detained the four suspects caught, and brought them in for further questioning before pursuing legal action and deportation.