Monks busted for meth use

Authorities arrested an abbot and two monks for allegedly consuming methamphetamines at a Buddhist temple in Pak Tho district Monday. A team of police and officials from the Ratchaburi Provincial Office of Buddhism raided Wat E-sarn in Moo 6 village of tambon Don Sai in the afternoon. Police said the operation came after arrested members of an accused drug gang told them they sold ya ba pills to monks at the temple. Residents also had complained that monks here were involved with drug use.

Police searched the living quarters of 46-year-old abbot Phra Baideekawisan Jattapayo and found drug paraphernalia along with numerous empty beer cans. Drug testing was performed on Phra Baideekawisan and 10 monks and novices at the temple.

Phra Baideekawisan and two other monks, Phra Decha Promjit, 35, and Phra Jetsada Charngmai, 30, tested positive for methamphetamines and were taken into custody.

The three confessed to using the illicit drug. Phra Baideekawisan told police his temple was previously used as a venue to organise a rehabilitation workshop for drug addicts. He once tried ya ba obtained from a participant and became addicted to it. After that he had bought the drug from local teen drug dealers who would deliver it to Phra Decha.

Phra Decha and Phra Jetsada said they had been on ya ba before entering monkhood three months ago.