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US Extradites Defrocked Thai Monk to Face Criminal Charges

Fugitive ex-monk Wirapol Sukphol is escorted by the Department of Special Investigation officials to the prosecutor's office in Bangkok, Thailand, July 20, 2017.

A former Thai Buddhist monk facing numerous criminal charges, including sexual relations with an underage girl, has been extradited from the United States.

Wirapon Sukphon was arrested late Wednesday night after arriving at Bangkok's international airport after a flight from the U.S.

Sukphon first raised eyebrows in 2013 after a video was released showing him on a private jet wearing designer sunglasses and carrying a bag sold by fashion designer Louis Vuitton. He was eventually stripped of his orange saffron robes after an investigation found millions of dollars in assets in his name.

Sukphon was eventually charged that year with money laundering, defrauding the public, computer crime and child abduction, along with the child sex charges, but fled to the United States.

His case is one of many scandals that have sullied Thailand's Buddhist clergy in recent years. A number of monks have been defrocked after being charged with such crimes as extortion, drug dealing and improper sexual relations.