Ex-abbot reveals temple scam plot

Mysterious NOB official asked for kickback from construction funds

A woman prays at a merit-making event at a temple in Bangkok. A dozen 12 temples in six provinces are under investigation for embezzlement of up to 60 million baht of temple maintenance funds. The scandal involves former and active officials of the National Office of Buddhism. (Photo by Seksan Rojjanametakun)

A former abbot of a temple in Lampang that was accused of being involved in the temple finance scam has revealed details about how the fraud is carried out.

The 48-year-old, whose name has been withheld, left the monkhood more than a year ago and now resides in the province. "I have all the evidence for officers," he said while popping anti-depression pills to ease his stress. He added he was also scared of the evidence.

"I was ordained at the temple for 10 years and gradually renovated the temple building with donations from followers. Once 70% of the construction was done, a person from the central Buddhism office contacted us to ask if we wanted more to complete our work," the former monk said.

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