Three Buddhist monks were defrocked yesterday after police caught them drinking beer in Battambang province.
The monks – Binh Panha, 22; Nuth Sophoan, 28; and Meas Kosal, 34 – were staying at a rental house in Battambang town when they were detained last Friday.
Lieutenant Colonel Cheth Vanny, deputy chief of the provincial police, said the monks were dressed in civilian clothes and drinking beer when they were caught.
“These three Buddhist monks have no pagoda to stay in, so they rented a house in Rochek 4 village,” he said. “To find money to pay for rent, they have always walked to beg for food and money from villagers in Battambang town.”
After they were detained, the police conducted a search of their house and found Buddhist robes, alms bowls and civilian attire.
Mean Lay, chief of the provincial penal police office in Battambang province, said villagers have complained several times about the monks’ alcohol-imbibing ways, which they alleged were a daily occurrence.
Vanny said the monks were contrite after they were “educated by police” – before subsequently being defrocked yesterday.
The monks will not be charged in court because, while they had broken their Buddhist vows, they had not committed any offence or crime.
To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]