Abbot Accused of Using Dead boy’s ID Reappears to Deny All Charges
CityNews – The abbot of Wat Suan Dok who was accused of stealing the ID of a dead novice monk in 1995 came out of hiding on October 27 to deny all allegations against him.
The case against the abbot, now known as Phraraj Rachamunee, was a detailed and complicated case with the main claim being that he was a Burmese national and stole the ID of a novice monk who died at the temple he was based in 1995, but was only reported to the police earlier this year.
The Governor of Chiang Mai told police that this was an urgent matter.
After the case was released to the press, the abbot went into hiding and police were unable to find him until he turned himself into the Mae Ai police station to deny all the allegations against him on October 27.
He told police that the ID card was issued to him by another person, and did not know it belonged to a deceased boy. He did not make a statement about the change of date of birth or name that was done to the ID once he took possession of it.
He also told police that he was not in hiding, but was in fact working and living at Suan Dok Temple this whole time. Police collected a DNA sample from the abbot and then released him pending charges.
On October 31st, the former Deputy District Chief of Mae Ai gave a testimony at Mae Ai police station that the abbot did visit the police station but refused to give any other details on the matter.
In addition, the commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5 has assigned the commander of Chiang Mai provincial police to assist Mae Ai police with the case. CityNews visited Wat Suan Dok again and did not see the abbot at the temple. The monks refused to give any further information and reporters were also forbidden to take photos on the temple grounds.