Bangkok: Thai police on Thursday raided the Dhammakaya temple in Khlong Luang district to arrest its abbot, who is wanted on corruption charges. The temple's abbot, Phra Dhammajayo is accused of involvement in money laundering and receiving stolen property worth 1.2 billion baht (about $34 million), the Bangkok Post reported.
He has denied all accusations claiming they are politically motivated. The 72-year-old has for months stayed inside the temple, north of Bangkok, citing poor health to avoid orders to appear before officials.
According to temple officials, the abbot was still receiving medical treatment at the temple. Department of Special Investigation (DSI) officials are authorised to search all buildings and structures in the temple compound to locate and arrest Phra Dhammajayo.
Thousands of devotees from the controversial Buddhist sect have camped outside the sprawling temple, complicating efforts by police to enter the grounds.