Drug Law

Buddhist Monks Arrested, Defrocked For Smoking Meth

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Two Buddhist monks were defrocked after they were found in their Cambodian commune with alcohol, condoms and a meth pipe, police said.

Police found Pich David, 36, and Chan Bunna, 19, in a private room at the Pur Langka pagoda in Slakram on Thursday night. Commune police chief Khiev Sort said anti-drug officers were following a tip from pagoda officials.

“The monk had been under suspicion for some time, as he always argued with the chief monk and did not follow the Buddhist doctrine,” Sort told the Cambodian Daily.

“When we entered the room we found alcohol, some condoms and a pipe for smoking ‘ice’ [crystal methamphetamine],” he said.

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Bunna later tested positive for meth, police said.

Two other pagoda residents and two female market vendors were also arrested in the raid. After questioning the monks, police arrested their alleged supplier Saturday afternoon.

Chief monk Keo Khouy said Sunday that both monks had been defrocked. Locals had complained about their rowdy late night activities and pagoda officials decided to involve the police.

It’s the second time David has been thrown out of the pagoda.

“Pich David was expelled in 2012 for bad behavior but we allowed him to return in 2013 after he pleaded with the pagoda authorities to come back and promised to adhere to the Buddhist doctrine and to follow the rules of the pagoda,” Khouy said.

Sources: New York Daily News, Cambodian Daily

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Mark Rowland, Reuters