11 July 2024

A former close aide of the late Somdet Phra Wannarat, abbot of Bowonniwet Vihara Temple, was sentenced to 10 years in prison today (Tuesday), after being found guilty by the Criminal Court of embezzling about 80 million baht from several temples in Bangkok and other provinces.

The defendant, Apirat Jayankura Na Ayudhya, was also ordered to refund the stolen money to all the affected temples, including Wachirathammaram Temple.

According to the charge sheet, the defendant falsified bank documents and used them to withdraw money from temple accounts and transfer it into his own bank account.

The defendant made the transfers without the consent of the abbot of Bowonniwet Vihara Temple, who was, at the time, very ill.

Somdet Phra Wannarat died in March last year at the age of 85. Apirat was eventually arrested and indicted in June of the same year.