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Monks, Military, More Officials Sought in Thai Teen Sex Case

FILE - Karen novice monks attend class in Mae La refugee camp near Mae Sot, Thailand. Thai police say the former abbot of a prominent Buddhist monastery has been arrested in the scandal.

Police in Thailand say they have cracked down on a sex ring that lured underage girls to work as prostitutes whose services were sold to high-ranking military officers, Buddhist monks and a variety of other officials.

Police in the northern city of Chiang Mai, where the network operated, said Thursday there are 23 suspects being sought for involvement in the underage sex ring, which used female procurers to lure girls as young as 13 to brothels.

Police Maj. Veerachon Boontawee says that among those arrested is the former abbot of a prominent Buddhist monastery and a senior former military officer. He says the vice rector of a Buddhist university in Chiang Mai turned himself in on Wednesday.