Four monks from the Rasmey Sangke pagoda were defrocked on Saturday after police discovered the group had ditched their religious duties to go sing karaoke at a local parlour in Kampong Cham’s Choeung Prey district.
The four – abbots Kang Saroeun and Chon Sokleang, and two younger novices – were arrested by district police officers and expelled from their pagoda by the local Cults and Religion Office for breaking their vows, said Chuon Sareth, the director of Choeung Prey’s Cults and Religion Bureau.
“The punishment is not serious, but they have been ordered to go home,” he said.
The arrests were made around 1am after the authorities were tipped off about four men with shaved heads acting suspiciously in front of the Thyda Karaoke parlour.
When police entered, the monks were reportedly seen singing songs and hugging women. Two were picked up immediately, but after searching the pair, Choeung Prey district police chief Yem Sophal said, authorities found four sets of robes. The two others were arrested later after they were discovered running through a paddy field.