Court seizes ex-Thai monk’s $1.2m assets for fraud

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A Thai Civil Court on Thursday seized a former Thai monk’s assets worth $1.2 million for offences including public fraud and money laundering.

Wirapol Sukphol, 38, was extradited from the US and arrived in Thailand after he fled the country in 2013 after he was issued with an arrest warrant for multiple allegations.

Months before Wirapol left Thailand, he made headlines when a video showing him in aviator sunglasses carrying a Louis Vuitton bag on a private jet surfaced on the Internet.

This led to an uproar over his unusual wealth and materialistic lifestyle contrary to Buddhist teachings.

Soon after, he was accused by a woman of impregnating her when she was 14 years old.

Up to 10 people have filed complaints to the police that they have been tricked by Wirapol on the Internet to donate millions of dollars.

Wirapol’s assets seized by the Thai authorities include an 8.3-million-baht Porsche, a property in north-eastern Thailand and money in his bank accounts.

Despite the asset seizure by the civil court, Wirapol has yet to stand trial for criminal offences.

Prosecutors charged him with public fraud, money laundering and a computer crime, all of which he denied.

Wirapol was initially wanted by the authorities for child abduction and molestation, but the charges had already expired.

Following the many allegations including alcohol consumption, which violate Buddhist monastic rules, Wirapol was also expelled from the monkhood. (NAN)

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