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US$2.9 Million in Assets Seized from Embezzler of Temple Funds

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US$2.9 Million in Assets Seized from Embezzler of Temple Funds

Crime Suppression Police have seized about US$2.9 million of assets from a man alleged to have embezzled about US$5.6 million of funds meant for renovations at Wat Bowonniwet Vihara and its branch temples.

The embezzlement happened while the temple’s beloved abbot, Somdet Phra Wannarat, was undergoing treatment for gall bladder cancer at Chulalongkorn Hospital.

According to the Bangkok Post, he passed away on March 15.

As soon as the abbot’s death was announced, the temple’s board asked the Royal Thai Police Office to conduct a covert investigation.

An investigation of the finances of Somdet Phra Wannarat revealed evidence of embezzlement of funds for the renovation of Wat Bowonniwet Vihara, a temple in Bangkok’s Phra Nakhon district, and its branch temples.

It was revealed that the alleged embezzler, whose name was withheld, was a close friend of Somdet Phra Wannarat.

Assets Impounded as Evidence

On March 23, Crime Suppression Police investigators, armed with a court warrant, arrested the unnamed man at a condominium in Bangkok.

As a result of the investigation, the police found Bently, Porsche, Volvo, BMW, and Lexus cars, as well as cash, bank accounts, brand name bags, and gold-plated amulets, worth approximately US$2.9 million overall. Everything was impounded for evidence.

Further legal proceedings are being coordinated between the police investigators and the Anti-Money Laundering Office.

Investigations into the alleged embezzlement are ongoing. Police sources estimate that the amount involved may exceed US$5.6 million.

Bangkok Remand Prison is where the suspect is being held without bail.

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