- Dabei seit
- Reaktion erhalten
Der am Dienstag ermordete Mönch Phra Kru Nanthapiwat, 72, stand auf der 'black list' im Kampf gegen Mafia-Kriminalität.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,982035,00.htmlThai abbot exposed as extortionist
Vows of poverty meant nothing to murdered millionaire monk
John Aglionby, South-east Asia correspondent
Saturday June 21, 2003
To his supporters Phra Kru Nanthapiwat, 72, who was killed in his bed on Tuesday night, was a victimised abbot who loved to save condemned animals from abattoirs and who had been evicted from his temple on unproven charges.
To his critics he was an unreformed gangster, who used his 36 years as a monk and vows of poverty as a cover for theft, violence, sex and extortion.
After three days of investigations into the pointblank shooting of the former head of Khoo temple in Thailand's Nonthaburi province, senior monks and police have discovered that Nanthapiwat was a multi-millionaire and his criminal activity was more extensive than previously imagined.
When Phra Palad Boonjerd, the temple's acting head, went to freeze Nanthapiwat's bank accounts pending the results of the investigation, he found the monk had more than 200m baht (£2.9m) in 12 accounts.
Nanthapiwat, who was shot in the leg during an attempted assassination last December, had been earning more than 1m baht a week by embezzling temple funds and skimming money from his illegal taxi gangs.
Colonel Kamrob Panyakaew, a police investigator, said: "It was quite unexpected. At first we were not aware of the full extent of his involvement in the motorcycle gangs and exactly where his money came from, but we knew he was taking from the temple."
Officers also discovered that Nanthapiwat was on a secret government blacklist of "dark influences" drawn up as part of a campaign against mafia bosses launched last month.
The monk's killer escaped unobserved and the police have admitted they have few clues as to the culprit's identity or motive.
Major-General Boonlert Nanthawisit, the provincial police chief, was quoted as saying yesterday that there were three possibilities: "The first, those close to the abbot; the second, his relatives; and the third, those with a financial interest in Koo temple." Jealous monks were not being ruled out.
More than 90% of Thais are nominally Buddhist but the monks have been under pressure to reform in the wake of a series of scandals.
Col Panyakaew said several people living near the temple had come forward to say that Nanthapiwat had been a gangster before he became a monk and took over as head in 1967.
For the first few years he appeared to lead a model life but by the mid-1970s he was alienating locals after women were found to have visited his quarters and money started disappearing from the temple.
By last November, when he was evicted, he had caused rifts among his followers as the monks quarrelled over his ill-gotten wealth.
The Nation newspaper has found that most of this came from demanding monthly "donations" from the public bus and motorcycle taxi drivers who use the stands outside the temple.
After Nanthapiwat was removed, residents allegedly raided his rooms and found pornography. Police then conducted a formal search and found a grenade.
Nanthapiwat also made a fortune by claiming to be a medium who could dispel bad luck on payment of a suitable donation.
His other business ventures allegedly included a restaurant run by a relative, and convincing worshippers to donate money to save animals from the slaughterhouse.
At the time of his eviction, which Nanthapiwat was contesting, he had accumulated a menagerie of 18 cows and buffaloes, 30 dogs, two peacocks, four pigs, three sheep, a monkey and several chickens.