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Thai Monks Fail Drug Tests Leaving Temple Empty

August 8, 2023

Officials of Thailand’s modest Buddhist temple claim that all of the monks were fired after they failed drug tests. An official in the northern province of Phetchabun told the news agency AFP that four monks, including the abbot, had positive methamphetamine tests.

Boonlert Thintapthai claimed the monks were sent to a clinic for drug treatment afterward.

An ongoing nationwide effort to combat drug trafficking coincides with the raid.

Police reportedly ran urine tests to the monks on Monday, and all four guys failed. The authorities did not reveal what had prompted their interest in the temple.

Mr. Thintapthai told AFP that “the temple is now empty of monks and nearby villagers are concerned they can do any merit-making.”

Giving food to monks is an important part of the Buddhist practice of merit-making, which is believed to bestow a protective energy on the giver.

Mr. Thintapthai, however, claimed that regional officials had gone to the local monastic leader for help, and that the chief had pledged to send some new monks to the temple in the Bung Sam Phan area to try to address the worries of devotees.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, methamphetamine seizures in Thailand reached an all-time high in 2021.1 This drug has become a serious problem in recent years.

Methamphetamine flows through the country at an alarming rate. Methamphetamine, which Myanmar is the world’s largest producer of, enters the nation from neighboring Laos.

The tablets are then retailed for 50 Baht ($1.40; £1.17) per on the streets.

After a former police officer who had been fired for methamphetamine possession massacred 37 people at a nursery last month, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha launched a crackdown on drugs.

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