Rearrangement of order at Wat Sampanthawongsaram

Officials from Bangkok's Samphanthawong district were sent to Wat Sampanthawongsaram on Friday (June 22) to rearrange order under an instruction of the new temple committee.

The new committee was established after Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police raided the temple last month to arrest Phra Phrommethee, the former assistant abbot, and member of the Supreme Sangha Council, for alleged involvement in the embezzlement of the temple development fund.

The former Phra Phrommethee, whose layman's name is Chamong Iamintra, fled the country. He was reported to have fled to Germany where he has applied for asylum.

Officials from Samphanthawong district today went to the temple to rearrange the order of such items as Buddha images and furniture including old teak desks, tables, and cabinets. They also cleared garbage, plywood, plastic bottles, rugs and other unused items from the temple ground.

Some of the monks told ThaiPBS that this was the first day that Samphanthawong officials came to help clean up the temple, especially in a hall under the main chapel.

The monks confirmed that no valuable items had been moved out of the temple as earlier reported.

The threestorey building where the former Phra Phrommethee lived has been locked up. The property has been frozen for examination. No valuables of the former assistant abbot have been removed, the monks added.

The 72 years Chalerm Phrakiat building where the former Phra Phrommethee's Mercedes Benz and Mini Cooper were parked has been declared offlimits to outsiders.

Wat Samphanthawongsaram was one of the three famous temples in Bangkok hit by the embezzlement scandal.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)