Chiang Mai –
A group of local monks and a follower were caught in a dwelling at Wat Pansao in Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai, for reportedly violating the Communicable Diseases Act by gathering for a barbeque party and drinking alcohol.
Police from Phu Ping Ratchaniwet Police Station arrived at the temple on Sunday night after receiving complaints from a concerned citizen that the monks in the temple had a beer-drinking party, making loud noises, and violating both Buddhism monastic disciplines and Covid-19 laws banning gatherings around alcohol.
Six monks and a follower were discovered enjoying the barbeque party with dozens of beer cans and alcoholic beverages inside the cubicle. All of them allegedly admitted to having been drinking and were found with an unspecified amount of alcohol in their bloodstream.
They were charged for an illegal gathering that poses a risk to the spread of Covid-19 Coronavirus under the Communicable Disease Act and were taken to the Phu Ping Ratchaniwet Police Station for legal proceedings.
The initial investigation revealed that four of the arrested monks were local abbots from Wat Pan Sao, Wat Yang Kuang, Wat Hua Fai, and Wat Ban Ping which are located in downtown Chiang Mai.
The seven monks were expelled from the monastic order by the monastic chief of Chiang Mai located at Wat Upakhut.
The seven went to court this morning and were sentenced to 15 days in jail, suspended for one year, and a fine of 10,000 baht each.
The news went viral on social media, not just for being monks, but due to four being Abbots (head monks) and well-known in the Chiang Mai area by local residents.
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