SIEM Reap provincial court charged two men for impersonating monks on Sunday, after the pair were arrested by police on Friday.
Deputy provincial police chief Phin Chantharet told The Post on Monday that the two suspects disguised themselves as monks, asking for alms in Siem Reap city’s Trapaing Ses village.
“They were charged and put into pre-trial detention at the provincial prison. After that the police and the Ministry of Religions and Cults defrocked them and sent them to the provincial court,” he said.
Provincial Judge Um Chanthol ordered the detention of Oeu Vutha, 26, from Kampong Cham province and Chhao Srey Rath, 32, from Takeo province.
Siem Reap city police chief Tep Channa said they received a tip-off on Friday after the local community grew suspicious of the pair.
The two suspects were charged with fraud and illegally wearing Buddhist robes on Friday, in violation of Article 508 and Article 378 of the Criminal Code.
Article 508 says anyone caught wrongly wearing Buddhist robes faces a maximum three-month prison sentence with a fine of up to 500,000 riel ($125). Fraud under Article 378 carries a maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to six million riel.