Shamed Buddhist Monks Fined Over Gambling Binge
Two of the eight Buddhist monks who recently became embroiled in controversy after a video of them drinking, smoking and gambling at a fellow monk’s memorial service found its way onto the internet have been fined 2 million Korean won ($1,775) each.
The Jogye monks, six of whom resigned in the wake of the scandal, could be seen playing a high stakes poker game in a luxury hotel suite last April in a video which was secretly filmed and leaked to local television stations by a member of their sect called Seongho.
As it is illegal to gamble in South Korea outside of licensed casinos and racetracks, in addition to being publically shamed and forced to step down from their positions, two of the monks were also charged by prosecutors over the incident and will now have to pay the fine.
The monk who filmed the game and the engineer who set up the camera were also given suspended prison sentences by South Korean authorities for breaking into the room and damaging private property while attempting to install the camera, but have largely come out of the incident clean.