From The Bangkok Post:
The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) will conclude in a month whether the vintage Mercedes-Benz at the heart of a tax-fraud scandal allegedly involving the supreme patriarch nominee was obtained illegally.
DSI officials on Tuesday went to see the car at Wat Pak Nam Phasi Charoen in Bangkok, where Somdet Phra Maha Ratchamangalacharn is the abbot following an invitation from the temple’s treasurer.
The vehicle is kept with two other vintage Mercedes sedans and other collectibles in a temple museum. Opponents of the nominee raised doubts about its acquisition, the import of which was allegedly falsified to avoid high taxes.
DSI executives accepted documents concerning the car. Pol Maj Woranan Srilam, DSI’s director of special cases, said that the department would seek information from the Customs, Excise and Land Transport departments to determine if the car actually had been reassembled from imported used parts as claimed. The department would question all persons connected to the vehicle, including the owner, he said.
Damkoeng J indara, the treasurer, said the abbot had received the car as a gift and had not bought it. He also said that it had been imported in 2011, but he refused to name the donor or elaborate on the import procedures.
Wat Phra Dhammakaya and Phra Dhammachayo have faced allegations of misconduct, distorting Buddhist teachings while raising donations, and being involved in the multibillion-baht fraud at Thailand’s largest cooperative, Klongchan Credit Union.
Well, if he loses the Buddhist gig there’s definitely a future for him in TV evangelism.