DSI

Who is Behind the Klongchan Controversy?

Thailand's Department of Special Investigations (DSI), an agency that makes J. Edgar Hoover and the American FBI look like a squeaky clean human rights org, currently has over 350 completely random and unrelated charges laid against Wat Phra Dhammakaya. The first and most severe of which is a so called money laundering charge linked to the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC). 

The KCUC has been having some financial troubles since the embezzlement scandal that crippled its balance sheet, but contrary to what DSI has been reporting, it is not because of the "money laundering" scheme DSI is accusing Wat Phra Dhammakaya's honorary abbot, Luang Por Dhammajayo, of that the credit union is in trouble. Less than 10% of the total money allegedly embezzled was traced to the temple, which were received via donations made publicly to Luang Por Dhammajayo in front of thousands of people. On top of that, the temple raised money to return the sum of the donations back to the credit union once they were made aware of its origin.

As you will see in the following clip, the chairman of the KCUC explains that the people responsible for the credit union's impending failure is not Wat Phra Dhammakaya, but in fact, DSI and Thai Law enforcement, the people who are going after Wat Phra Dhammakaya.

The above excerpt conveys the point we want to make, but to prove that there was no shady editing or taking out of context, here are the full episodes of Facetime as they aired on Feb. 23rd and Feb. 24, 2017 below. 

Facetime Episodes Feb. 23 & 24, 2017 Interview with Mr. Prakit, Chairman of the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC)

Does DSI even know what Money Laundering is?

For over a year, the Thai Department of Special investigation (DSI) has pursued the Honorary abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya on numerous charges, the most severe of which being alleged “money laundering”. The source of the allegedly illicit money came from Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC), in the form of a public donation. DSI issued a summons for the abbot to report to hear the charges. After he missed the summons, DSI issued an arrest warrant, despite the fact that the temple requested charges be given at the temple due to the abbot's health, something completely legal.

In order to arrest the honorary abbot for missing the summons DSI deployed a massive scale force to raid Wat Phra Dhammakaya, on authority of article 44 of the interim constitution, leading to a 23 day siege of the temple after DSI tried forcing all non-residents out of the temple. The siege ended when a deal was struck to allow the search to continue on the condition that witnesses followed officers, but it did not merit anything for the authorities.

Not long after DSI called off the search on the temple for the honorary abbot, some new charges popped up, this time on the vice abbot of the temple for allegedly using the KCUC money to buy stocks and illegal land. This contradicts an earlier statement by the Thai Anti-Money Laundering Office specifying what the money actually was used for. And of course, DSI refuses to specify which stocks he allegedly invested in. While the alleged purchases of stocks in itself, even if true, is not even illegal, the illegal land purchases are. So these new accusations raise a question.

Does DSI even know what money laundering is?

An example of actual money laundering via a legal casino.   Cleaning illegal money through illegal land purchases or monks trading stock would not be money laundering- or at the very least be an incredibly poor attempt at money laundering.

An example of actual money laundering via a legal casino. 

Cleaning illegal money through illegal land purchases or monks trading stock would not be money laundering- or at the very least be an incredibly poor attempt at money laundering.

 

Money Laundering, by definition, is the act of making illicit funds appear legal. This is often done by taking illegal funds, concealing the money trail, and transferring the money into something legitimate. So for the honorary abbot to be charged with money laundering, DSI had to have evidence of an attempt to make the funds appear legal. But after over a year of investigating this “money laundering” case, DSI officials are now saying the KCUC money was used in buying unnamed stocks and illegal land on part of the vice abbot. If this was the case, the temple would be making illicit funds appear, at best, even more illicit.

So what's going on here?

DSI is now giving two contradictory charges to the two main figures of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. One to the honorary abbot for “money laundering” (taking illicit funds and making them appear legal), and then after DSI couldn't find him, they charge the vice abbot for using that exact same money to do illegal activities (putting illicit money into illicit things) just days after the failed search.

So, if DSI is going to come up with trumped up charges, they should at least make them feasible. Either the honorary abbot is a suspect of money laundering, or the vice abbot a suspect in illicit land deals, but these two accusations cannot both be true at the same time.

For the KCUC money to have been “laundered”, it could not have been put to illegal land or any illegal activity for that matter. For the money to have been used on any illegal activity, it would by definition not have been money laundering. DSI’s charges against the honorary abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya and now the vice abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya contradict each other.

Either one charge is true or the other charge is true. That, or neither of them are.

Post Today: A Simple Matter Made Complicated

This past week, news of plans to arrest the Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya drew great interest from the media and people throughout the country. Within the intrigue are people who perceive it as a political division of camps. Many are convinced that the Abbot is guilty and a swift and definitive prosecution is needed. Opinions are pouring from people of various backgrounds--some possessing Right View while others holding the opposite. The faces of this latter group are familiar ones, where names are not necessary to guess who they are.

Police General teaches DSI about handling Venerable Dhammajayo's Case

In a recent interview [approx. June 2016], former Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police, Police General Sereepisuth Temiyaves, offers his two cents and suggestions to DSI regarding an alternative way to conduct their case against Phrathepyanmahamuni, Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. He also questions why they’re rushing this case. Pol. Gen. Sareepisuth is a well known national figure who is respected for his tenacious stance on crime and has an impeccable track record.

DSI Case Against the Dhammakaya Temple’s Abbot is Unnecessary and Unhelpful to Thailand

Strong and successful organizations bring pride to a nation’s citizenry. Such organizations become an integral part of the country, and often receive governmental support to make themselves competitive for international markets. In the United States and much of Europe, the support citizens have for one another have strengthened their nations socially and economically. This applies to spiritual and religious organizations as well. Although individuals may have varied opinions in regards to beliefs, they still respect each other and try to co-exist harmoniously.

TNN Interviews Deputy Prosecutor on DSI Providing Notification of Charges

On May 26, 2016, TNN news anchor conducted a phone interview with Mr. Paramet Intarachumnum, Deputy Director General of the Office of Criminal Prosecutor, whereby Mr. Intarachumnum provides his expert opinion on DSI notifying suspects regarding the hearing of charges.

Tam Trong Trong (Direct Questions) with Jomkwan

A Thai news anchor recently questioned a high-ranking DSI official on the Thairath TV show, "Tam Trong Trong (Direct Questions) with Jomkwan", which aired on May 18th, 2016, at 7pm UTC. This exchange was in regard to Wat Phra Dhammakaya's request for DSI to send a physician to examine and verify that the Abbot was truly ill and therefore unable to travel to DSI HQ to hear the charges against him. 

DSI Seeks Arrest Warrant: A Lawyer's Perspective

1. Why did DSI choose to release a written statement instead of an announcement via live press conference? This is highly unusual for a high profile case being followed closely by the public, particularly, when reporters from most of the Thai media outlets had been on standby outside of DSI headquarters for most of the day.

A Perspective on the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative Case

What Transpired and How It Can Be Rectified

Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC) initially had a working capital of 21,000 M baht. The issue arose when it permitted 12,000 M baht in loans, making itself illiquid—a state of lacking sufficient funds to meet its obligations. This led to a deficit preventing the cooperative from having available funds for circulation, putting it at risk for bankruptcy. Potential approaches to rectify the situation and restore the cooperative are as follows: