Two Cambodian nationals who snuck across Thailand’s border illegally while dressed as monks were caught yesterday. The 2 men, one 30 years old and the other 27, first took a bus to Samut Prakan. They then went into a woodland behind a market in Meuang district, and built a temporary shack for themselves there.
During the day, the ‘monks’ went to collect ‘donations’ from people. Police from Samut Prakan immigration found the shack yesterday after getting tipped off by locals. In the shack, they found 20 baht and 100 baht banknotes, totalling up to about 1,000 baht. They also found monks’ robes, and items monks often use. The men then admitted they were part of a larger group of Cambodians who took a bus to Samut Prakan while dressed as monks, and split up to different areas to ask for donations.
Police are now on the hunt for other Cambodians dressed as monks, while the two men caught yesterday have been charged with illegal entry. They are set to be deported after legal steps are taken.
It’s not just foreign nationals who have pretended to be monks to get money- several Thais have been caught doing this too. In February, a Phuket man disguised as a monk allegedly asked for ‘donations’ at the Phuket Town Fresh Market on Ong Sim Phai Road.
A similar incident happened in Rayong on Thursday when seven men posed as monks to ask for money. The men had allegedly seemed like ‘unconventional’ monks because they refused food and offerings apart from money. A local monk reported the men to police, and the ‘monks’ refused to speak to the police. They tried to flee, but police caught them and found the men had fake monk ID cards, and knives.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post