DSI finds B600m was transferred to Wat Phra Dhammakaya

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has found that another 600 million baht was transferred from the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC), supposedly as donations, to Wat Phra Dhammakaya.

Pol Lt Col Pakorn Sucheevakun, director of the Bureau of Financial and Banking Crime who leads the DSI team investigating the KCUC embezzlement scandal and its links to Wat Phra Dhammakaya, said it was discovered recently the total amount of money paid by the cooperative to the temple, including the new finding of 600 million baht, comes to more than 1.2 billion baht.

An investigation found that eight cheques valued at 431 million baht were donated to the temple’s abbot, Phra Dhammachayo; 10 cheques worth 642 million baht went to the temple, and another five cheques valued at 140 million baht were donated to a foundation for Buddhist nuns, he said. He was updating the progress of the investigation into the embezzlement scandal.

Earlier, the DSI said the former chairman of the cooperative, Supachai Srisupa-aksorn, a key suspect in the scandal, signed 13 cheques worth more than 800 million baht made out to the temple, its monks and its abbot Phra Dhammachayo.

However, the abbot denied any involvement in the scam. Investigators will ask suspects from the temple to give information about the additional money, Pol Lt Co Pakorn said.

Also speaking yesterday, Pol Lt Col Somboon Sarasit, director of the Bureau of Special Crime, said investigators found seven more KCUC employees who mostly used to work in financial and credit positions were connected to the embezzlement scandal involving the cooperative.

He said the seven people are Aree Yamboonying, a former KCUC manager; Laphat Somkam, a former secretary to Mr Supachai; Saranya Mannad, a former deputy manager; Kritsa Meeboonmak, a former credit official; Siraphat Phophom, a former credit official; Chanchay Khanthahat, the current deputy manager and Wanpen Yoddee, a financial officer.

A team of investigators had raided these people’s homes and found documents related to the scam and copies of cheques made out to Wat Phra Dhammakaya’s abbot, he said. Next week, the DSI will ask up to 13 former employees accused of being linked to the scam to hear charges that they colluded to siphon money from the cooperative’s accounts.