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Jet-setting monk accused of rape now in big trouble for fraud

Jet-setting monk accused of rape now in big trouble for fraud

New York Post

BANGKOK — A former monk known for a jet-setting lifestyle was back in Thailand on Thursday after he was extradited from the United States, where he fled to escape charges including statutory rape and fraud.

Wirapol Sukphol, 37, appeared on a YouTube video showing the orange-robed monk aboard a private jet. He wore aviator sunglasses and had a Louis Vuitton carry-on bag, sparking an outcry over his behavior.

Soon after the video surfaced in 2013, Wirapol was defrocked amid accusations of multiple sexual relationships with women — a cardinal sin for monks.

He was also alleged to have had sex with a 14-year-old girl. The statute of limitations has expired in that case, but he still faces fraud, money laundering and other charges.

He was arrested in California last year.

Wirapol returned to Bangkok late Wednesday under an extradition agreement with the United States. According to Paisit Wongmuang, director-general of Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation, Wirapol “wanted to come back to Thailand and was ready to enter the justice system.”

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