Monk held after crashing SUV

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Phnom Penh -

The chief monk of a Cambodian pagoda was arrested after he allegedly crashed his sports utility vehicle while drunk and disguised as a military official, a media report said on Friday, citing police.

Khan Heng, who heads a pagoda in Southern Kandal province, was reportedly driving to his father's funeral on Wednesday, wearing a military police uniform over his saffron robes so that people would not see a monk driving an expensive vehicle.

Other monks at the pagoda were quoted as saying the head monk had long been suspected of drinking in secret and other bad behaviour.

“I always suspected he was drinking, he would slur his words and curse at other monks, but we never had the proof,” Sdoeung Sar, a lay priest at the pagoda, reportedly told The Cambodia Daily newspaper.

Khan Heng was charged on Thursday with driving under the influence and impersonating an official and is now in pre-trial detention, a police chief told The Daily.

The monk was also defrocked this week. - Sapa-dpa

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