Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Monks defrocked over drug use in Kampot pagodas

Monks defrocked over drug use in Kampot pagodas

Monks defrocked over drug use in Kampot pagodas

Four teenage monks from two different pagodas were sent to the chief of the pagoda for defrocking before being sent to the Drug Addict Relief Association.

Kampot provincial police chief Mao Chanmathurith told The Post on Sunday that anti-drug police from Kampot police station arrested the four monks on Friday.

Two of them were arrested in Dang Tong district and two others in Chhouk district for drug use. The person who supplied them with the drugs was also detained.

Chanmathurith said the four monks were taken to the pagoda chief for defrocking. They were instructed not to consume drugs again and told to sign a contract to that effect.

The four were then allowed to return to their families, but their parents asked authorities to help them deal with their drug addictions.

“We did not send the case of the four monks to court, but taught them to stop using drugs and handed them over to their parents,” Chanmathurith said.

“However, their parents asked us to help them recover from drug addiction. Therefore, we sent them to Drug Addict Relief Association in Kampot,” Chanmathurith said.

He said the alleged drug trafficker, 22, who lives in Dang Tong district was sent to the court on Saturday. Kampot provincial court decided to detain him for drug dealing.

According to the report from the anti-drug office, the monks are between 15 and 17 years old.

A 56-year-old farmer from Chhouk district Heng Phearak told The Post that some parents asked the chief monk to allow youths to become monks as they were spoiled and could no longer be educated.

They hoped their children would become better people if they became monks.

However, they did not think of the negative consequences, like some of their children disgracing Buddhism, the state religion.

“Before people enter the monkhood, it is important to know their character as they could affect the dignity of other monks and degrade the value of Buddhism,” he said.

Dang Tong district deputy chief monk Peng Sam Ath told The Post that he could not hide these troublesome findings from the authorities.

“Before allowing someone to become a monk, I always ask for their history and health record from the parents. It is not entirely up to me,” said Sam Ath.

Ministry of Cults and Religion spokesman Seng Somony told The Post that the problems of Buddhism in Cambodia are normally caused by individuals in the community.

“In the case of monks abusing drugs at the pagoda, this problem was caused by an outsider who persuaded the novices to try it. He mixed the drug with Coca-Cola. So the monks are really the victims,” he said.

The ministry said all monks should advocate against drugs, especially those who have roles as educators within the monkhood.

“It includes not allowing someone who used to commit wrongdoing, for instance, to become a monk”, said Somony.


  • China and India closer to ‘biggest’ showdown

    Indian and Chinese troops remained engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation in several disputed areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh on Thursday, signalling that the confrontation could become the biggest military face-off after the Doklam episode in 2017. Ladakh is a union

  • Central bank to shun small US banknotes

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is considering not accepting smaller denominated US dollar banknotes – $1, $2 and $5 – from banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) which it said are flooding its stockpile as the demand for those notes is low. While some banking insiders welcomed the move as

  • PM lauded in Covid-19 fight

    World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen thanking him for following the WHO’s guidance and commending Cambodia’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19. In his letter made public by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Workers return, hope for salaries

    More than 600 factory workers in the capital’s Chaom Chao commune in Por Sen Chey district returned to work after the factory’s owner promised to pay their salaries in instalments until the middle of next month. On Tuesday and Wednesday, more than 600 workers gathered

  • Women detained for forcing kids to beg

    Two women were sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday for forcing six children to beg for money for several months at the Chhouk Meas market in Krang Thnong commune in the capital’s Sen Sok district. Phnom Penh Department of Anti-human Trafficking and

  • Vietnamese tents baffle border guards

    Kandal and Takeo provincial authorities bordering Vietnam have expressed concern after witnessing irregularities by the Vietnamese authorities, including the deployment of soldiers to erect 114 camps just 30m from the border. Takeo provincial governor Ouch Phea told The Post on Thursday that Vietnamese soldiers had erected 83