Thailand's police. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – Thai police and soldiers on February 15 began surrounding the Wat Phra Dhammakaya Temple of Dhammakaya after authorities issued an arrest warrant for its chief, Phra Dhammajayo, for money laundering.

The monk, who was also accused of receiving millions of bath from a corrupted former official and committing illegal actions in many provinces, was believed to hide inside the temple located in Bangkok’s outskirts.

On late 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.

In a statement, representative of the temple said about 4,000 policemen and soldiers were deployed and preventing anyone from entering or leaving the temple.

Thai police issued an arrest warrant for monk Phra Dhammajayo several times. Previous attempts to raid the temple were thwarted after thousands of monks and devotees rushed to the temple to barricade the entrances.-VNA