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Mad For It Monks Torment Thai Villagers

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Saturday, October 30, 2004
Six Buddhist monks who held wild drug parties in their temple at Ratchaburi, Bangkok, were defrocked and arrested this week after cops raided their temple following complaints from angry neighbours.

"Villagers are fed up with the monks at this temple as they always make loud noise when they drink and take pills," explained local police chief Major Annop Nuamnaka (AFP newswire).

The wayward clerics' crimes not only violated Thailand's murderously harsh anti drug laws but also one of the five key rules that Buddhists are supposed to follow: abstaining from intoxicating drugs or drink. Presciently, the religion urges followers to avoid getting high on the grounds that intoxicants "cloud the mind and can lead to the breaking of the other precepts because judgement is impaired and dangerous emotions can be unleashed' (

Five of the six wayward clerics reportedly failed drug tests for yaa baa (speed pills) and now face an uncertain future in Thailand's infamously harsh prison system.

Also facing a bleak future this week is British expat Andrew Veale who was the latest individual to be caught up in Singapore authorities' recent bust of a high society drugs ring. The 40 year old financial broker was charged with using ecstasy this week, following raids two weeks earlier in which 24 others were also nicked, including 35-year-old fellow Brit Nigel Bruce Simmonds, the editor of Tatler Singapore.

Both expats face up to ten years in jail if convicted of merely using drugs though as Britain's Foreign Office pointed out several years ago, anyone else even visiting the island could face the same penalty if they fail to abstain well in advance.

"Traces of cannabis can stay in urine for four to six weeks," the Times reported in 1999.

"The Foreign Office said yesterday that people who take drugs before entering those countries (Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) were "reckless' and "utterly stupid'," said the Times.