Monks walk around Bayon temple in Siem Reap
Monks walk around Bayon temple in Siem ReapReuters

Two Cambodian Buddhist monks have been arrested in the popular tourist city of Siem Reap for smoking crystal methamphetamine along with two women in their pagoda.

The room of Pich David, 36, who has a history of erratic behaviour in the Buddhist community of Pur Langka, in Slakram commune, was raided by police who found alcohol, condoms and a pipe for smoking Ice, the other name used to describe the extremely addictive stimulant drug.

Commune police chief Khiev Sort told the Cambodia Daily newspaper that the monk had been under suspicion for some time for not following the Buddhist doctrine. Police also arrested another monk, 19-year-old Chan Bunna, two pagoda residents and two female market vendors for drug use.

Only two of the suspects, Bunna and a vendor, tested positive for meth. Their supplier was arrested too in Slakram commune.

Pur Langka's pagoda chief monk said that the two monks had already been defrocked. He added that Pich David was expelled from the pagoda in 2012 for bad behaviour but allowed in again in 2013 under promise to respect the Buddhist doctrine and follow the rules of the pagoda.

A number of complaints at the monks' late-nights parties and general attitude in the past months led pagoda authorities to call the police.

Buddhist monks are forbidden to drink alcohol and take drugs and must abstain from sexual intercourse.

Theravada Buddhism in Cambodia is practised by the 95% of the population.