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Thai Buddhist abbot charged with money laundering

Thai Buddhist abbot charged with money laundering"Prosecutors have agreed to charge Phra Dhammachayao with conspiracy to launder money, money laundering and receiving stolen goods," Somnuek Siangkong, spokesman for Thailand's Office of the Attorney General, said, Reuters reports.

Thailand's Department of Special Investigation in 2015 summoned Phra Dhammachayo, abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, a futuristic-looking monastery located some 50 km (30 miles) north of Bangkok, for questioning after his temple was accused of receiving more than 1 billion baht ($28 million) of embezzled funds.

Critics say that the Dhammakaya Temple, which says it has millions of followers around the world, is too money-focused and encourages financial donations as a way to gain good karma.

They also say it strays from the Theravada Buddhism practised by millions of Thais.

The temple denies this.
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