Temple Abbot Busted For Impersonating Police Colonel

(1 August) Police in
Pathumthani province arrested a temple abbot who had been disguising himself as high-ranking police
officer when he drove his car along the highways. Religious rules dictate that Buddhist monks are
not permitted to drive.

Phra Mahachaisiam Panyayakkhamo, the abbot of Wat Khao Saton
Temple in Chachoengsao province, was detained by police at a petrol station in Klong Luang district,
Pathumthani province. He was dressed in uniform of a Police Colonel at the
time.

Pol.Lt.Col.Jeerawat Peimpinseth told our correspondent that he spotted the self-styled
police officer acting suspiciously at a car wash in Petronas Gas Station, located on Phahonyothin
Road, so his team held him in custody and quickly discovered that the suspect was in fact a
monk.

The (real) officer said he became suspicious because the suspect was wearing pair of
sandals with his fake uniform.

Phra Mahachaisiam later admitted at the police station that he
usually disguises himself as Police Colonel when he went out of town on his Toyota in order to deter
any question from low-ranking police officers at checkpoints.

He told the police that he had
been in monkhood for 11 years, and had dressed as a police officer for more than 10 times without
getting caught. Prior to his arrest, he was using restroom and washing his car at the petrol
station. He commended Pol.Lt.Col. Jeerawat for having the wit to see through his
disguise.

The police charged Pra Mahachaisiam with impersonating a police officer.