Thai Monk Arrested, Defrocked for Getting Drunk in Police Car

Phra Kamsaen Teeradhammo in a cell at Mueang Bueng Kan Police Station, 17 May 2015

BUENG KAN — A monk in northeastern Thailand has been arrested and defrocked for drinking alcohol in a police vehicle in Bueng Kan province yesterday, police say.

Pol.Lt. Pibul Soongklang, an officer at Mueang Bueng Kan Police Station, said he was driving to work on 17 May when he saw a monk on the side of the road, and offered to give him a ride in his pick-up truck. The 48-year-old monk, Phra Kamsaen Teeradhammo, reportedly told the officer he was on his way to a funeral. 

Pol.Lt. Pibul said he later looked through his rear window and noticed that Phra Kamsaen had started drinking alcohol, a violation of Buddhist doctrine.

"So I brought him to the police station for interrogation and defrocking," Pol.Lt. Pibul told reporters today. 

However, Phra Kamsaen was visibly intoxicated by the time he arrived at the station and reportedly tried to attack police officers. The monk was then detained in a cell for one night, and sent to a temple for formal defrocking this morning. 

Phra Kru Uthaiworakhun, the senior monk who oversaw the defrocking ceremony, told Phra Kamsaen he could not return to the monkhood until he gave up his drinking habit. Police say they have not charged the ex-monk with any crime. 

 

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