🇹🇭 Thailand's Tainted Robes | Misbehaving Monks | 101 East

19 Dec 2014 25:01 770
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As scandals involving misbehaving monks rock the nation, 101 East examines if Thailand can save its moral soul.

Nehn Kham was once a hugely popular monk preaching in Thailand's poor northeast region. Today, he is an international fugitive with a $32m fortune that he amassed through fraud.

Buddhists around the world were shocked when footage emerged of the monk on a private plane, clutching a Louis Vuitton bag and fidgeting with high-end gadgets. His extravagance put him atop a long list of misbehaving monks making headlines in Thailand for fist fights, smuggling drugs, selling guns, hiding pornography and more.

In response, Thailand's military junta has set up a 24-hour hotline for the public to report rule-breaking monks. But the junta is also proposing new laws to criminalise breaking any Buddhist rule - a move some fear is an over-reaction that would threaten religious freedom.

101 East exclusively reveals where Thailand's infamous jet-setting monk has been hiding, and meets those on a mission to save the country's moral soul.

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