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Drug Rehab Center at Temple Closed by Medical Services

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Thailand’s Department of Medical Services has ordered the closure of a drug rehab centre at Wat Tha Phu Rat Bamrung in Kanchanaburi following complaints of physical abuse and alleged extortion of patients admitted for treatment.

According to the Bangkok Post, the local headman (district Offical) said he received an urgent letter from the deputy director-general of the Department of Medical Services, on Thursday night.

The letter ordered the immediate closure of the drug rehab centre at Wat Tha Phu Rat Bamrung.

The letter, signed by Manus Potaporn, deputy director-general, said the drug rehab center had failed to meet the criteria for a treatment centre under the Narcotic Drugs Act.

Furthermore, the drug rehab center operating licence expired on the death of the licensee, who was the temple abbot that died on Monday.

Wat Tha Phu Rat Bamrung’s drug rehab center became a Thailand news sensation when a famous shaman and an attorney took news reporters to the site on Monday to expose the horrific conditions. They said the center had violated human rights which included a starvation diet, torture, beatings and extortion of the patient’s relatives.

According to news reports, there were over 200 men crowded into one room with only two toilets.

The Attorney and shaman have asked for a formal investigation as the abbot of the temple died 15 minutes before it was raided on Monday by army soldiers. After the raid army soldiers released the patients, most of whom were taken to government hospitals.

The Attorney and shaman allege the rehab centre was run by a criminal network involving police and corrupt government officials.

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