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Fake monks arrested after taking donations

PHNOM Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged two construction workers with impersonating monks after being accused of dressing in Buddhist robes in order to collect donations.

Sok Sambath, 28, and Eang Kea, 30, were arrested on Tuesday night in Prampi Makara district’s Veal Vong commune, according to district police chief Yin San.

“The two men were arrested while they were wearing monk clothes and walking near streets to earn money from people at religious ceremonies in Veal Vong commune,” he said.

He said the arrests followed a complaint filed by villager Buon Mony, who claimed the monks were faking their monkhood for personal gain when he noticed they were not carrying cards identifying them as monks, which are issued to monks by their superiors.

“They were charged [yesterday] as fake Buddhist monks,” he said. “They are now sending them to Prey Sar prison for further investigations.”

Nuon Ngeth, supreme patriarch of Buddhist monks in Cambodia, said people posing as monks had serious implications for the priesthood, especially in the wake of several scandals involving monks this year.

“I appreciate the competence of police in arresting these two people,” he said.

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