The Nakhon Phanom Court has approved warrants for the arrests of two Thai and three Lao people for allegedly helping the former Phra Prommethi, the former assistant abbot of Wat Samphanthawong, to escape. The fugitive monk is now believed to be in Germany where he reportedly tries to seek aslyum.
The court’s approval of the arrest warrants was made at a request by Nakhon Phanom police, following an instruction from Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, the police chief.
The two Thais wanted under the warrants are a woman named Sasi-orn Jiamwichitkul, 54, a native of Bangkok, and a man identified as Peerawich Srisattha, 28. The three Lao people also wanted under the warrants are not identified.
Mrs Sasi-orn is reported to have a husband who runs a mining business in Laos. Mr Peerawich is a driver who helped the former Phra Phrommethi, whose layman’s name is Chamnong Iam-intra, escape from Bangkok to Nakhon Phanom.
The former Phra Phrommethi fled his temple in Bangkok in a van to Nakhon Phanom and then to Renu Nakhon district, from which he crossed the Mekong River to Thakhek twon in Laos’ Khammouane province. He then travelled via Phanom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where he took a Qater Airwas flight to Frankfurt, Germany.
Crime Suppression Division police raided Wat Samphanthawong, Wat Saket and Wat Samphraya in Bangkok on May 24 to arrest seven senior monks, including the then Phra Phrommethi, for alleged embezzlement of temple funds. The six other monks have been arrested and defrocked. Only Phra Phrommethi managed to escape.