Dhammachayo given ultimatum to turn in to police before midnight today

The Royal Thai Police today have given Phra Dhammachayo until midnight to turn himself in to the police to acknowledge charges for the misappropriation of funds of the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative.

Today is the deadline set by the police for the controversial former abbot of Wat Dhammakaya to turn himself in to the police.

Royal Thai Police deputy commissioner Pol Gen Srivara Rangsipramanakul said today that the police would give him until midnight to give up.

If he still refuses to do so, the police will take further step in accordance with the law to enforce the law, he said.

He said the police will take legal action against the acting abbot of the temple, for charge that he allows the temple as a shelter for the suspect.

He said Phra Dhammachayo is now a suspect because warrant has been issued by the court for his arrest.

Phra Dhammachayo is also facing a warrant to turn himself in to the Natural Resources and Environment Suppression Division police by December 2 for trespassing forest area at Khao Yai national park in building the so-called Green Peace Valley Buddhism practitioning centre.

Meanwhile security at Wat Dhammakaya is heightened today with only half of the main gate open.

No outsiders were allowed into the temple's over 2,000 rai compound.

Only followers of the former abbot were allowed in to practise Dhamma but strictly screened by guards.

The former abbot is still recuperating from his sickness inside the temple and has not escaped, a spokesman of the ailing abbot claimed.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)