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Former Thai monk sentenced to 114 years in prison for fraud

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Former Thai Buddhist monk Wirapol Sukphol was sentenced to 114 years in prison on convictions for fraud, money laundering and computer crimes.

He will actually serve a sentence of only 20 years, because Thai law sets this period as the maximum for those found guilty in several cases of the same crime, reports OCCRP.

Thai management on fight against money laundering has discovered 41 Bank account associated with Veerapala, the authorities found that he collected money from wealthy followers, and on some accounts he kept around 5.9 million dollars.

Between 2009 and 2011, he bought 22 Mercedes cars worth $ 2.8 million, and at one point, his accounts were about $ 32 million. Among other things, the monk was taken from a Harley Davidson motorcycle, several cars, a number of real estate objects and Bank accounts.

According to representatives of the Ministry, monks have the full right to collect donations, but are obliged to direct these funds to help the needy, not to personal enrichment.

The ex-monk faced a more serious problem than financial crimes. He is also accused of sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl: the trial is expected in October .

The charge forced him to flee to the United States, where he was extradited back to Thailand last year.

Wirapol Sukphol got a special fame in 2013 after he appeared in a video on Youtube in monastic clothes with a Louis Vuitton bag in hand aboard a private plane, which caused the protest of his behavior. The outbreak investigation revealed that Viraton Suchon enjoyed the confidence of the people posing as the incarnation of an ancient Buddhist monk who, according to legend, performed miracles. After that, he was expelled from monasticism.