Police chief says Dhammachayo will not be granted bail if arrested

Phra Dhammachayo will not be granted bail if he was arrested because police have given a chance to turn himself in to acknowledge the charges against him, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaichinda, the chief of the Royal Thai Police Office, said today.

He is confident that the embattled abbot of Wat Dhammakaya is still somewhere in the temple and has not escaped out of the country. He declined to comment whether the monk is still sick or not.

The police chief said that the criminal case against Dhammachayo has dragged on for a long time and he wanted the case to settle once and for all. However, he noted that the case had to be handled with great caution so that it would not impact on Buddhism in general.

The national police chief disclosed that seven companies of police had been put on standby to provide support to the Department of Special Investigation in case the department decided to raid the temple in order to make the arrest.

He disclosed that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha was concerned with the case after it was the temple had allegedly mobilized its faithful followers to come to the temple to join the mass prayer.

Meanwhile, Pol Col Krisana Pattanacharoen, vice president of the Royal Thai Police Office, said that police had coordinated with the DSI and the National Office of Buddhism to discuss actions to be taken against Dhammachayo.

Apart from Dhammachayo who is facing charges of money laundering, conspiracy to launder money, accepting ill-gotten gains and forest encroachment, police will take action against Phra Thattachivo, the acting abbot of the temple.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)