The DSI (Department of Special Investigation) is investigating allegations against senior monk Somdet Phra Maha Ratchamangalcharn, who is the most senior candidate among eight ready to take on the role of supreme patriarch.
The 90 year old senior abbot of Wat Pak Nam Phasi Charoen is at the center of several scandals, and also mentored the controversial abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, Phra Dhammachayo, when he was ordained in 1969.
Phra Buddha Isara, the ‘activist’ monk who openly critiques Phra Dhammachayo, filed the complaints and the DSI has combined the complaints into four cases.
According to the BK Post, Pol Maj Worranan Srilum, the director of the DSI’s Special Case Management Centre, received a total of 17 complaints against scandals involving both the Sangha Supreme Council, the Buddhist’s clergy’s governing organization in Thailand and Wat Dhammakaya.
Of the complaints, one of the most publicized is that the senior monk was involved with a luxury car tax invasion swindle. Srilum also said that the DSI was already looking into scams in which luxury cars were falsely reported to being locally assembled in order to avoid taxes.
The senior abbot is also being investigated because he allegedly “distorted” Buddhist teachings in a violation of the Computer Crime Act.
According to reports Pol Maj Worranan said the DSI is also looking into an allegation that the money embezzled from the KCUC scandal “was used to buy gold which was cast into a golden Buddha image and presented to Somdet Phra Maha Ratchamangalacharn.”
The KCUC scandal, involving Phra Dhammachayo, is an embezzlement case involving 21 cashier checks worth 1.2 billion baht each.
The Prime Minister has been urged to postpone the process of nominating a new Supreme Patriarch. Somdet Phra Maha Ratchamangalacharn’s controversial backing of Dhammakaya temple’s controversial abbot Phra Dhammachayo may reveal that he is not the most suitable choice, his critics say.
Courtesy of the Bangkok Post, POSTgraphics