Jet-setting Thai monk makes a bumpy landing … in prison

By Barry Duke

Back in 2013, Buddhist monk Wirapol Sukphol caused outrage when he appeared in a YouTube video that showed him enjoying the high life. He was pictured in his monk’s robes aboard a private jet wearing aviator sunglasses with a Louis Vuitton bag.

Today Sukphol is behind bars, having been sentenced to more than 100 years in prison for fleecing his followers.

According to this report, the Ratchada Criminal Court in Bangkok yesterday sentenced him to 114 years in prison, although legal technicalities capped the actual time he must serve at 20 years.

He was found guilty of fraud, money laundering and for spending money he had solicited for Buddhist statuary and temple improvements on cars and luxury goods.

The court also ordered that Sukphol pay 28.6 million baht (£670,000) in compensation to 29 people who filed lawsuits saying he had cheated them.

The same court will deliver a verdict on October 17 on a child molestation and child abduction charge against the former monk, who was defrocked amid accusations that he had sexual relations with several women – a major violation of the precepts guiding monks’ behavior – and had impregnated one. There were also allegations he had sex with a 14-year-old …read more

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