Thailand gives monks smart ID cards

20/07/17

Senior Thai officials have revealed that monks are to be issued with smart cards tracking their criminal history.

The move follows a series of high-profile scandals ranging from sex and drugs to murders taking place at temples.

"Monks across the country already hold the paper-based cards but the information is out-of-date, which makes it hard to verify their background," Ormsin Chivapruck, an official at the Office of the Prime Minister, told reporters on Thursday.

Smart cards with chips would enable up-to-date tracking with the monk's monastic history recorded alongside any criminal offence or report of drug use, he added.

The move is "to prevent fake monks using religion, or suspected wrong-doers from hiding their illegal acts behind orange robes," he added.

Details will be discussed next week at a meeting of the Supreme Sangha Council, the body governing the national faith.

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