Joint narcotics investigations in the Pattaya-Sattahip area have led to the arrest of three drug using monks early on Monday morning. The taskforce of officers raided the residence of one monk at the Sattahip Temple arresting him and two others in the search.
Sattahip, the 19th of July 2010: At approximately 00:30am on Monday, Mr. Chanchai Iemjarern (Sattahip Marshall) along with officers from the Sattahip Naval Drug Battle Unit and the Sattahip Bailiff arrested a known local drug dealer, Mrs. Uraiwan Banlengsena . The arrest was made as Mrs. Banlengsena was exiting the Sattahip Temple in Soi Thammavitthaya.
Under interrogation, Mrs. Banlengsena admitted to selling Ya-Ba for a well-known and habitually offending drug dealer, Mrs. Phornthep Phuttharaksa. In addition, she informed police that she was regularly supplying drugs to a recently ordained monk at the Sattahip Temple.
Consequently, the drug suppression taskforce instigated a raid, with the use of a search warrant, on the Kuti (residence) of the suspected drug user.
During the raid, officers arrested three monks, Phra Sarawut Phromrak , Phra Jakkarin Chaiyo  and Phra Surasit Meesuk .
All three subsequently tested positive for drug use and were detained in police custody. Two temple residents, Mr. Somchai Sutthijaroon , and Mr. Phornthep Chairipu  were also arrested in the raid and tested positive for drug use.
Investigation of Phra Phromrak’s Kuti, uncovered a .38 calibre revolver, meat cleaver, knuckle-dusters, pornographic DVD’s, drug-using paraphernalia, cooking equipment and food. All evidence was catalogued and confiscated by police upon completion of their investigation of the premises.
Later interrogations of the suspects revealed that all three monks had ordained in the month of June 2010 in an attempt to avoid prosecutions over several drug dealing offences.
Phra Phromrak explained that he had continued to use Ya-Ba as a monk due to an addiction and the relative ease that he could procure it from a friend of his mothers.
Local police have now arrested and detained all five offenders, remanding them in custody ahead of further judicial proceedings.
In addition, the three monks would be summarily unordained in accordance with Buddhist traditions for such offences.
Sattahip Bailiff, Mr. Surachet Kaewkham, revealed that the area around Soi Thammavitthaya and the Temple was a known location for drug dealers and users to gather, as such investigations by the joint taskforce would continue in an attempt to suppress the illegal activity in future.
At present officers are in the process of tracking fugitive drug dealer Mrs. Phornthep Phuttharaksa, involved in the initial arrest of this case.
19th of July 2010