‘Grave-rob­bing’ Thai monk de­tained

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

A 65-year-old Bud­dhist monk be­ing held by po­lice is ac­cused of loot­ing graves for skulls to be used in black magic rit­u­als, au­thor­i­ties said Tues­day.

The monk, who was dis­robed on April 19, al­legedly raided two ceme­ter­ies near the north­east­ern city of Udon Thani with ac­com­plices.

Po­lice ac­cuse the monk and two younger dis­ci­ples of dig­ging up skulls to be used in rit­u­als — which may in­clude mak­ing amulets said to pro­tect the wearer and con­fer power.

"The monk took five skulls, in­clud­ing of sib­lings — an eight-year-old girl and a six-yearold boy — who died from drown­ing," San­than In­thara­jak, com­man­der of Kumpawapi Po­lice Sta­tion in Udon Thani prov­ince, told AFP.

“He has been con­spir­ing to steal skulls and mov­ing, destroying and des­e­crat­ing corpses,” said San­than, adding that the max­i­mum pen- alty is five years in jail.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice the monk de­nies the charges, in­stead say­ing he vis­ited the ceme­ter­ies at night to talk to spir­its in an at­tempt to fore­see lot­tery num­bers.

Rit­u­als led by monks claim­ing to fore­see the num­bers are com­mon among peo­ple in Thai­land es­pe­cially in ru­ral ar­eas, San­than said.

“It is a strange case but it does hap­pen for real in this so­ci­ety,” he added.

Many Thais be­lieve in black magic and oc­cult rit­u­als to bring good luck or dis­pel bad for­tune.

Thai­land's no­to­ri­ously frac­tious po­lit­i­cal scene is also known to draw on the oc­cult.

Com­pet­ing camps have openly used black magic curses against each other, while pro­test­ers of­ten deck them­selves out in amulets which they be­lieve make them im­per­vi­ous to bul­lets or other forms of harm.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.