There are no monks left at a Buddhist temple in central Thailand after all of them failed drug tests, a local official said, reported news agency AFP. All four of them have been defrocked, the official added.
Defrocking is the removal of a monk’s rights to exercise the functions of the ordained ministry.
Four monks, including an abbot, tested positive for methamphetamine on Monday at a temple in Phetchabun province’s Bung Sam Phan district, district official Boonlert Thintapthai told AFP. They have been sent to a health clinic for drug rehabilitation, the official added.
“The temple is now empty of monks and nearby villagers are concerned that they cannot do any merit-making,” he told the news agency. Merit-making involves worshippers donating food to monks as a good deed.
More monks will be sent to the temple for villagers to practise their religious obligations, Boonlert said.
Thailand is a major transit country for methamphetamine coming in from Myanmar via Laos, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
The pills sell for less than 20 baht (around $0.50) on the street.