Police report authorities raided a temple in northeastern Thailand on Sunday and arrested a monk for selling and using methamphetamine. The raid was led by Phanthat Phu-sanga, a senior assistant district chief.
The drug raid followed complaints from local residents that monk, Phra Suthorn Sonkaew, had acted as a drug pusher selling methamphetamine to youth in the village.
Police said Phra Suthorn, a monk at Wat Chaimongkol in Khon Sawan village in Khon Sawan of Chaiyaphum, initially denied the allegations.
During a search of his living quarters, the team discovered 36 methamphetamine pills in a plastic bag in his bed. As a result of the evidence, Phra Suthorn confessed to having just purchased 40 methamphetamine pills. He said he had used two of the pills himself and resold two to young villagers.
Upon being stripped of his monastic ordination, he was brought before the Khon Sawan police station in Chaiyaphum. There, he was charged with possessing drugs with intent to sell, as well as using them.
Authorities report that the Coronavirus pandemic has created a surge in cut-price “Yaba” tablets (Methamphetamine) in the local market.
Meth pill prices have slumped in some areas of Thailand, where pills are sold for as little as 80 baht a piece.
Police said they have been overwhelmed with the increased use and trafficking of “Yaba,” while “health authorities are seriously under-resourced and have limited capacity to offer treatment.