Thailand's police in front of Wat Dhammakaya temple. (Photo: EPA/VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) on March 10 ended the 23-day besiege of Wat Dhammakaya temple in Khlong Luan district of the Phathum Thani province, claiming that the chief of the sect, Phra Dhammajayo had fled.

Speaking with reporters, director-general of the DSI, Paisit Wongmuang said that authorities could not find Phra Dhammajayo inside the temple and believed that the wanted monk may have escaped.

He affirmed that the DSI and police will continue searching for Phra Dhammajayo, as immigration agencies were instructed to prevent him from going abroad.

Phra Dhammajayo was accused of money laundering, receiving millions of bath from a corrupted former official and committing illegal actions in many provinces.

On February 15, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha signed a decree in pursuant to Article 44 of the Constitution, allowing the army and police to carry out a raid on the temple.-VNA