US court grants extradition for 'Nen Kham'

Pictures of Nen Kham from Facebook. (Facebook photos)

Thai prosecutors will fly to the United States to bring back the disgraced former monk Nen Kham after a California court approved his extradition, provided he doesn't appeal.

Wirapol Sukphol, 38, better known as Nen Kham after his monastic name Luang Pu Nen Kham Chattiko, fled Thailand in 2013. He was disrobed for inappropriate behaviour including having sex, boasting about supernatural powers and leading an extravagant life with his private jet and brand-name luggage.

Amnat Chotichai, director-general of the foreign affairs office the Attorney General's Office, said on Saturday that following the US court's approval, a team of prosecutors and special investigation officials would escort the disgraced former monk back to Thailand, provided Mr Wirapol did not appeal.

“If he doesn’t appeal within the allowed period, which I think is one or two days from the ruling, the [extradition] case will be final,” he said.

The well-known preacher from Si Sa Ket is wanted on arrest warrants for public fraud, having sex with underage women and money laundering.

The Department of Special Investigation earlier seized 380 million baht worth of his assets

Thai prosecutors asked the US for cooperation to extradite him in 2016.

According to a September 2015 report from the US, Mr Wirapol opened the five-rai Wat Pa Kanti Baramee in Lake Elsinore near San Diego. He reportedly said he was founding a new Buddhist cult that had nothing to do with Thailand’s Sangha and would register it as a foundation.

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