Kampong Speu Provincial Court charged a defrocked chief monk who allegedly stole about $5,000 from his pagoda in Samrong Tong district.
Brigadier General Som Bora, provincial general crimes department chief, identified the accused as Morn Oeun, 42, the ex-chief monk of Tep Oudnaram pagoda in the district’s Phneay commune.
He said the accused was charged with theft and faces up to three years in jail if convicted. Mr Oeun is now in prison pending trial.
Brig Gen Bora said that on Tuesday the accused, as chief monk, conducted a Kathin ceremony to raise funds to support monks and build a fence around the pagoda in Sampov Ngour village.
He added that more than 200 villagers took part in the ceremony which ended on Wednesday.
Brig Gen Bora said that Mr Oeun collected about $4,900 from the villagers and kept the money in his room. He added that on Wednesday night, the accused locked the pagoda gates and his room door.
Brig Gen Bora said that the next morning the accused told his monks that his room was broken into and his desk was destroyed. He also said that the money kept in the desk was missing. Mr Oeun alerted commune police later on Thursday.
Full story in Monday’s paper