BangkokBizNews: Statement by Anti-Money Laundering Office


Released on 20 February 2015 17:28:30 hrs.

The Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) points out that confiscation of Wat Phra Dhammakaya’s properties in connection with the case related to Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative cannot be done. The money trail is clear. The money was used for construction of religious facilities. This is not money laundering. The law governing religious properties is also clear: religious lands and properties belong to the nation. They cannot be confiscated.

On 20th February 2015, Police Colonel Sihanart Prayoonrat, Secretary General of the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO), explained to the public the situation involving cheques amounting to over 700 million Thai baht paid by Mr. Supachai Srisupa-aksorn, former Chairman of Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative, to Wat Phra Dhammakaya. AMLO’s investigation indicates that Mr. Supachai had paid several cheques to Wat Phra Dhammakaya; each one amounted to no less than 100 million baht. Officials from Wat Dhammakaya gave testimonies that all of the money in question went to pay for construction of religious facilities. Documents and receipts produced by Wat Phra Dhammakaya substantiated this fact. Documents produced by the bank also substantiated the same fact.  

According to law, land and property owned by Buddhist temples belong to the nation. AMLO cannot confiscate them.

The case of Wat Dhammakaya was compared to a case involving a celebrity named Pakorn Chatborirak from whom AMLO had confiscated a Lamborghini. Both cases involve violation of law according to AMLO, but in the case of Wat Phra Dhammakaya the law is quite clear: religious lands and properties cannot be confiscated because they belong to the nation. AMLO has no authority to do so.