NOB chief defends his role in tackling monastic fund  corruption 

The National Office of Buddhism (NOB) yesterday dismissed the allegation that it was sending out instruction to monks across the country to absolutely not handle any money personally.

The allegations led to sever conflict between the NOB and the Sangha Supreme Council of Thailand and could possibly lead to monk rallying.

Coming out to dismiss the allegations was Pol Lt-Col Pongporn Phramsaneh, director of the National Office of Buddhism (NOB).

He said the NOB does not have any authority to send out instructions to monks.

Instead, he urged the public not to listen to rumors and allegations that the NOB is making attempts to identify temples where monks have managed to maintain the hands-off rule.

These are propaganda being circulated by certain factions to incite unrest within the Sangha Supreme Council of Thailand.

But he confirmed that monks have abstained from handling cash which is in line with the Buddhism rule.

The public should not overact, he said and stated that a lot of times news circulated are unverified and are merely rumors.

They should wait for clarification from the Sangha Supreme Council of Thailand concerning such news to avoid confusion and misunderstanding.

With regards to an outcry from the public for the NOB to accelerate its investigation to the corruption charges, he assured that the NOB  is continuing its effort and has no intention of letting the case remain open.

Suspects have already been identified and dismissed from the civil service. A few suspects involvement require further verification, he said.

He went on explaining that charges have been categorized to two separate allegations.

Firstly civil officers that have misappropriated temple funds will be charged with misconduct unbecoming a civil servant.

The second allegation would be temples that have intentionally moved appropriated budgets provided by the NOB which will be charged with money laundering.

He stressed that all found guilty will be charged to the full letter of the law without exceptions.