The tranquil beauty of Rat Samakkhi Temple in Chon Buri, Thailand, was disrupted by a distressing incident recently. A venerable 78-year-old Thai monk, belonging to this serene temple, approached the local law enforcement authorities imploring them to track down a deceitful woman who reportedly defrauded him of more than 800,000 baht. The monk, displaying an unwavering spirit of forgiveness, proclaimed that he would drop all charges and cease the legal proceedings if she willingly surrendered and accepted her transgressions.
The high-spirited community leader, Yotsadhammo Puangsisang accompanied the wronged monk on his journey to seek justice. Together, they proceeded to the Plutaluang Police Station on the 29th of July to lodge a formal complaint against the callous scammer. With no discernible progress in his case, Yotsadhammo decided to take matters into his own hands, turning to Channel 3 to disseminate his story and exert additional pressure on the perpetrator.
In his media interactions, Yotsadhammo narrated the sordid tale of manipulation and deceit. The scammer had approached him first in April the previous year, spinning a heartbreaking yarn of bankruptcy and destitution, thereby arousing pity in the benevolent monk’s heart. She pleaded for funds to fuel her car, to enable her to return home to the central province of Chantaburi.
The compassion-driven Yotsadhammo decided to offer her some assistance. Little did he know that this would mark the beginning of a series of relentless monetary requests from the woman. She kept returning to the temple, asking Yotsadhammo for monetary help – her demands ballooning from an initial 1,000 baht to a staggering 100,000 baht. Finally, the unsuspecting monk found himself parting with a staggering sum of 850,000 baht, draining all his life savings.
Yotsadhammo’s life savings weren’t amassed overnight. They resulted from twenty years of disciplined living since he began his monastic journey. It was a real shock for him to realize the extent of his loss as it even encompassed his monthly government allowance of 700 baht. Betrayed, befuddled, and blocked on all channels of communication by the scammer, all Yotsadhammo yearned for was justice
Although he still harbors the wish to forgive her, he firmly believes she must surrender to law enforcement and return the stolen money. This incident echoes a similar fraud case where a monk was deceived into transferring nearly 500,000 baht to a scam gang, under the pretense of settling his mother’s supposed debt. Fortunately, the cyber police apprehended the primary culprits last year. However, some of the fraudsters still remain at large, lurking in the shadows of the net, ready to ensnare more unsuspecting victims.