Thai Buddhist temple runs out of monks after all are dismissed for failing DRUG TESTS
Buddhist temple in Thailand has been left without any monks after they were all dismissed for failing drug tests, local officials said.
The small temple in central Thailand was forced to defrock its holy men after they tested positive for methamphetamine on Monday.
Some four monks including an abbot at a temple in Phetchabun province's Bung Sam Phan district returned positive drug tests, district official Boonlert Thintapthai told AFP.
The monks have since been sent to a health clinic to undergo drug rehabilitation, the official said.
'The temple is now empty of monks and nearby villagers are concerned they cannot do any merit-making,' the official said.
Merit-making involves worshippers donating food to monks as a good deed. The practice is considered fundamental to the Buddhist religion.
Boonlert said more monks will be sent to the temple to allow villagers to practise their religious obligations.
Thailand is a major transit country for methamphetamine and has been a major problem for the country in recent years.
Methamphetamine continues to flood in from Myanmar's troubled Shan state via Laos, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
On the street, pills known as yaba can sell for less than 20 baht (around £0.47). Estimates suggest that billions of yaba pills enter into Thailand each year.
Authorities across Southeast Asia have made record meth seizures in recent years.
Just last year, Thai authorities intercepted a single shipment containing almost £75 million worth of methamphetamine. The drugs were contained within 161 white silicon slabs destined for Taiwan. The total mass of the drugs shipment totaled 897kg.
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