Former jet-setting monk extradited from U.S. to Thailand tonight for series of crimes

A video leaked in 2013 shows Wirapol Sukphol, formerly known as “Luang Pu Nen Kham,” traveling on a private jet and carrying a Louis Vuitton bag.
A video leaked in 2013 shows Wirapol Sukphol, formerly known as “Luang Pu Nen Kham,” traveling on a private jet and carrying a Louis Vuitton bag.

A former Thai monk known as “Luang Pu Nen Kham,” for his jet-setting lifestyle, will be brought back to Thailand tonight to face charges of money laundering, child abduction, and raping a girl under 15 years old.

Back in 2013, the public was outraged by leaked footage of Luang Pu Nen Kham, or Wiraphol Sukphol, now 38, traveling on a luxurious private jet, carrying a Louis Vuitton bag, and wearing brand-name sunglasses.

This week, a three-person team from Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG), arrived in the United States to escort the former monk back to Thailand for the trial.

DSI Director-general Phaisit Wongmuang said Wiraphol did not file an appeal after a California court approved his extradition. He’s scheduled to appear at the Thai court on Friday.

Wiraphol was the former abbot of Wat Pakhantitham, a forest monastery in northeastern province of Si Sa Ket. He had many followers as a monk due to his charismatic character and rumors about his great past life, according to The Nation.  

In 2013, he was also found to own over 100 luxury cars, and countless blocks of land. Once exposed, he fled the country to France, and then to the U.S., Bangkok Post.

He was expelled from the monkhood following scandals about his inappropriate conduct. The DSI has already seized THB380 million worth of his assets.

 

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