DSI seeks arrest warrant for ex-monk Wirapol

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) will apply to the court on Wednesday for an arrest warrant in the case of disgraced former monk Wirapol Sukphol, previously known as Luang Pu Nen Kham.

The decision was made at a meeting of investigators handling the case on Monday, DSI secretary-general Tarit Pengdith said.

The arrest warrant will be sought for Mr Wirapol’s alleged offences under Section 14 of the Computer Crimes Act, using a website to deceive the public, and for having sex with a girl who was only 14 years old.

The girl, now a grown woman, lodged a complaint with the DSI on Sunday. She said Mr Wirapol – who is now believed to be in the United States – fathered her 11-year-old son.

The underage sex charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail, which is recognised internationally. This would make it easy to extradite the defrocked monk back to Thailand, he said.

A photo posted on the Facebook page of former pilot Piya Tregalnon shows former monk Wirapol Sukphol aboard a private jet, brandishing a bundle of US dollar banknotes. Wg Cdr Piya said Mr Wirpol wanted to buy a private jet and asked him to find one. He also said the monk’s bag was filled with US$100 banknotes.

The National Buddhism Office would be asked to seek the revocation of Mr Wirapol’s Thai passport and the DSI would directly collaborate with the United States and countries in Europe to have his visas cancelled.

The DSI would also freeze 41 bank accounts known to be held by Mr Wirapol, ask the Land Department to freeze all land owned in his name, and send a letter to the Land Transport Department requesting a freeze on all cars bought in the former monk’s name throughout the country.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) would be asked to freeze Mr Wirapol’s non-bank assets.

On Thursday, July 18, the DSI plans to apply to the Youth and Family Court of Si Sa Ket province for an order that the 11-year-old boy allegedly fathered by Mr Wirapol be accepted as his legal son, with the right to receive financial support from him.

Since Mr Wirapol’s mother refused to let the authorities take a sample of her DNA, to prove that the 11-year-old boy is his son, the DSI would seek a court order requiring her cooperation, Mr Tarit said.

These steps would be taken by the DSI this week, he said.

The DSI chief asked that people who have been harmed by Mr Wirapol’s actions provide information about the former monk’s assets, or come forward and offer to be witnesses in the case against him.

The DSI has set up a hotline, number 090-123-1230, for people to supply information, Mr Tarit said.

Pol Col Prasopchoke Prommul, deputy chief of the Crime Suppression Division (CSD), said his agency will hand over the cases it is investigating involving Mr Wirapol to the DSI on Friday.

Pol Col Prasopchoke said his office had investigated Mr Wirapol for allegedly defrauding the public, violating the Sangha Act, and committing other related offences, and was about to seek a court warrant for his arrest.

But Pol Maj Gen Supisal Pakdinaruenart, commander of the CSD, received a letter from the DSI on July 12, asking that he transfer the case to the special investigators.

Meanwhile, Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) official Witoon Champathong said investigators could not yet determine if Mr Wirapol was involved in illicit drugs.

“After we inspected some of Mr Wirapol’s financial transactions, we weren’t able to find evidence that he was involved in illegal drugs,” Mr Witoon said.

He said investigators did not find any illegal substances when they inspected the Khantitham forest monastery in Si Sa Ket’s Kanthararom district, where Mr Wirapol lived, and a secret room beneath the base of the world’s largest replica of the Emerald Buddha – a landmark in the area.

Officers asked five random monks at Khantitham to take a urine test and their results were all negative for illegal substances, he added.

It is believed that Mr Wirapol left Paris for the US last week. The 34-year-old embattled former monk has not made any comments to the media since a video clip of him and two other monks riding a private jet went viral on the internet last month.



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