Senior monk ‘used dead man’s ID’
CHIANG MAI: Police will soon summons a senior monk in Chiang Mai for questioning over identity theft after he allegedly used the ID number of a man in Chaiyaphum who died more than two decades ago.
Pol Col Songkrit Ontakhrai, deputy chief of Chiang Mai provincial police, said officers in charge of the investigation will issue the summons as soon as they have evidence from their counterparts in the northeastern province.
The scandal involving Phra Ratchamuni, the abbot of Wat Suan Dok and the monastic chief of Muang Chiang Mai, erupted after a complaint was lodged with a Damrongdhama centre accusing him of using the ID number of the long deceased Duangdee Wiangdindam.
After an inquiry showed that Duangdee died in 1995, an official in Mae Ai district lodged a complaint with police against the senior monk for allegedly applying for an ID card using false documents.
The case has triggered a barrage of questions, including who the senior monk is and if he is a Thai national.
According to Pol Col Songkrit, police have questioned the official and obtained a document the monk, who was known as Nimit Yodkham before entering the monkhood, allegedly submitted when seeking to register as a displaced Myanmar person.
He said police have the ID card request form submitted by the senior monk as evidence.
“They’re waiting for evidence from Chaiyaphum and the summons will be issued for the monk to meet investigators and defend himself against the accusation,” he said.
He said an arrest warrant will be issued if the monk repeatedly fails to respond to the summons.
Governor Pawin Chamniprasart said yesterday the district official has lodged a complaint with police and the monk will have to meet the police and answer the charges.
He said the Interior Ministry is aware that falsification of ID cards is rife in several provinces and has launched an extensive investigation.
The monks at the temple declined to comment on the matter and said they could not contact Phra Ratchamuni who was reportedly last seen on Oct 5 at a meditation centre on Doi Angkhang in Chiang Mai.