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In Vietnam, Buddhist monk arrested for possession of drugs

In Vietnam, Buddhist monk arrested for possession of drugs

Saturday, March 18, 2023, 10:31 GMT+7
In Vietnam, Buddhist monk arrested for possession of drugs
A portrait of Nguyen Thanh Duc, whose Buddhist name is Thich Ban Tinh, is nested in a photo of Co Son Pagoda in Tien Lang District, Hai Phong City, Vietnam. Photo: N. Hoan / Tuoi Tre

Police in Thai Binh Province, northern Vietnam said on Friday that they had arrested and initiated legal proceedings against a Buddhist monk for the illegal possession of narcotics.

Police officers of Dong Hung District in Thai Binh caught Nguyen Thanh Duc, 41, red-handed illegally possessing 0.1476 grams of methamphetamine at the beginning of this month.

Duc declared that he is a monk and the abbot of Co Son Pagoda in Tien Lang District, Hai Phong City, which borders Thai Binh.

Dong Hung police officers reached out to the Religious Affairs Department of Hai Phong and the chapter of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha in the city to verify the declaration.

The response from the Religious Affairs Department of Hai Phong confirmed that Duc was officially recognized as a Buddhist by the chapter of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha in the city in 2017 and was given the Buddhist name Thich Ban Tinh.

Since April 2021, he has resided and participated in religious activities at Co Son Pagoda given the approval of the chapter of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha in Tien Lang District.

Duc has been held in custody and investigated for the illegal possession of narcotics.

While the Religious Affairs Department of Hai Phong has required the chapter of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha in the city to verify Duc’s drugs possession following his arrest, a senior monk, who was referred to by the department as Duc’s preceptor, denied any relationship with the man and any involvement in his case.

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Bao Anh - Tien Thang / Tuoi Tre News

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