Disgraced monk Wirapol has emptied B300m bank accounts

Defrocked monk Wirapol Sukphol has just three million baht in his 41 bank accounts, when there used to be about 300 million baht, Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) adviser Narong Rattananukul said on Tuesday.

A photo posted on the Facebook page of former pilot Piya Tregalnon shows former monk Wirapol Sukphol aboard a private jet, brandishing a bundle of US dollar banknotes. Wg Cdr Piya said Mr Wirpol wanted to buy a private jet and asked him to find one. He also said the monk’s bag was filled with US$100 banknotes.

Mr Narong said the ONCB and the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) had asked financial institutions and banks throughout the country to disclose details of all the bank accounts and financial transactions of Mr Wirapol, formerly known as Luang Pu Nen Kham.

There was only three million baht in total remaining in all of Mr Wirapol's 41 bank accounts, he said, adding that the ONCB and Amlo will find out where the rest of the money has gone.

Amlo deputy secretary-general Pol Capt Saowanee Sawaengpol said the agency's committee on financial transactions will meet on Friday to discuss Mr Wirapol's assets.

"Although the accused is still hiding outside the country, the anti-money laundering law can be used against him. Amlo will work with the Financial Intelligence Unit of the United States to trace his assets," she said.

It is believed that Mr Wirapol left Paris for the United States last week. The 34-year-old embattled former monk has not spoken to the media since a video clip of him and two other monks riding a private jet went viral on the internet last month.

The woman who claims Mr Wirapol fathered her 11-year-old son on Tuesday filed suit in the Si Sa Ket Youth and Family Court, asking that the disgraced monk be acknowleged as the boy's father and that he be ordered to pay 40 million baht in back-dated child maintenance.

Somchart Wongtarathorn, the woman's lawyer, said if the boy is accepted as Mr Wirapol's legal son he would have rights over his father's assets or an inheritance.

The lawsuit asks the court to order Mr Wirapol to pay child maintenance of two million baht per year for 20 years, from birth until the age of 20.

The high figure is based on Mr Wirapol's reported financial status. The court would decide on a proper amount, he said.

Because the demand for child maintenance is so high, the court fee could be as much as 800,000 baht, he said. The court has been asked to exempt court fees for the plaintiff, who is poor and cannot afford to pay it, Mr Somchart said.

Meanwhile, sellers of "sacred" items and amulets created by the disgraced former monk have begun complaining that business has suffered since he was accused of many offences, and actually charged with using a website to deceive the public and having sex with a 14-year-old girl.

Pol Sen Sgt Maj Mana Kum-ngam, 55, said he had collected about 10 Luang Pu Nen Kham medallions. People had previously offered him large amounts of money to sell them, but he had refused - expecting that prices would continue to increase.

"And then the scandal about Luang Pu Nen Kham broke. I cannot sell them and I've lost hundreds of thousands of baht. I'll have to throw them into the sewer in the end," he said.

In Tak province, an amulet seller, who withheld his name, said Luang Pu Nen Kham produced his first medallions and amulets in 2001, when he was 23 years old. The cost of producing one medallion was two baht, but they were sold at 5,000 baht each. Some of the medallions and amulets were sold for as much as 10,000 or even 100,000 baht, because they were made from gold.

"Nobody wants to buy sacred items and amulets created by Luang Pu Nen Kham any more, because they no longer have any value," the seller said.

The photos show a Luang Pu Nen Kham medallion, left, and a fake mocking the disgraced monk. (Facebook photos)

Related search: Disgraced monk, Wirapol Sukphol, Luang Pu Nen Kham, amulets, medallion, bank account, 300 million baht, money laundering

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