Abbot accused of money laundering
BANGKOK • Thailand's Attorney-General said yesterday the abbot of a powerful Buddhist sect would be charged with money laundering. Prosecutors are charging Phra Dhammachayo, the abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, over accusations that his monastery north of Bangkok received more than 1 billion baht (S$40 million) of embezzled funds.
Seoul raises bird-flu alert level
SEOUL • South Korea raised the country's bird-flu alert status yesterday to its second-highest level following three more outbreaks of the highly pathogenic H5N6 strain, after the first cases were confirmed last week. The new outbreaks were discovered at two duck farms in the central and south-west of the country. All 30,500 ducks at the farms have been culled.
Cyber-heist: 6 bankers charged
MANILA • The Philippines said yesterday it has launched criminal proceedings against six bankers accused of failing to stop the laundering of tens of millions of dollars stolen by cyber-criminals from Bangladesh's central bank. The cyber thieves had in February shifted US$81 million (S$116 million) from the bank's account with the US Federal Reserve in New York to Rizal Commercial Banking Corp in Manila, in one of the world's biggest bank heists.