Operation Bogus Bust (Part 2)


Please feel free to…

1. Send this link https://moonpointer.com/new/2010/02/operation-bogus-bust-part-2 to share this article with your friends.
2. Download the above A3 poster at
http://moonpointer.com/downloads/bustbw.pdf (Colour version at http://moonpointer.com/downloads/bustcolor.pdf) for pasting at hotspots and giving to shopowners where bogus monastics frequent.
3. Download the above as
A5 flyers at http://moonpointer.com/downloads/bustflyer.pdf to circulate at the same hotspots.
4. Translate the poster to other languages applicable for the Singapore context.

Below is a related unpublished letter to share, that was sent to press.

More Policing Against Bogus Monastics Needed

From the complaints of various friends, the appearance of bogus monastics or so-called ‘Buddhist monks and nuns (in white)’ is clearly still a recurring problem in Singapore. They thrive partly due to the still prevalent ignorance of the public that they are unholy confidence tricksters in disguise. As such, it would be good if the Singapore Police Force (SPF) regularly reminds the public via various media that such criminals should be reported and not supported.

This is especially so as under the Miscellaneous Offences Act, ‘anyone who collects alms or solicits charitable contributions under false pretences can be fined up to $2,000 or jailed up to three months, or both.’ Educational posters created by SPF in various languages put up at public places of worship and housing estates could prove useful in stamping out bogus monastics too.

In the past, bogus monastics usually stood stationary at busy public places to solicit for money (instead of food or basic non-monetary daily requisites, which is what genuine monastics would seek locally). However, after some legal scares, these criminals are much smarter nowadays, by being mobile with their bowls, moving from place to place. With this change in their methodology, it is much harder to apprehend them, even when the police are called for.

If the police wish to more conscientiously trace and weed out these increasingly cunning illegal elements, they ought to respond to calls upon sightings of bogus monastics by arriving swiftly in plain clothes to tail bogus monastics to their headquarters. From personal experience a few years back, I once called the police for investigating the identities of two bogus monastics, who were standing outside the popular temple at Waterloo Street. To my surprise, they had informers. Upon sighting two uniformed policemen some fifty metres away, the ‘monks’ fled, while the police arrived puzzled at the empty crime scene.

Related Article:

The below article was published in the January-March 2010 issue
of Nanyang Buddhist (Singapore Buddhist Federation’s quarterly magazine)

Operation Bogus Bust (Part 1)

8 thoughts on “Operation Bogus Bust (Part 2)

  1. After a long wait and since there is still no public poster to curb the bogus monks’ problem… So here it is. We made this poster for concerned members of the public to circulate.


  2. Thing is… it is hard to really get non-uniformed police.

    But good to dial 999 and try to request for them anyway – because the uniformed ones are a dead giveaway to their informers (if any). If non-uniformed police can’t come, uniformed ones will have to do…

    Perhaps with increase in the demand for non-uniformed police to trace and bust the syndicates, there will be more of these ready cops.

  3. Frankly, I doubt the Spore Police Force will want to commit their precious resources to attend to such matters.

    In my opinion, Spore Buddhist Federation should engage private investigators (PI) to investigate/trails these bogus monks. And let SBF work with MYCS or SPF to take actions against these bogus monks.

    As Buddhist individuals, we do not have the time, financial power (to investigate) and religious muscles to get the garhmen bodies to take action.

    I remember many yrs ago, Sunday Times featured an article showing bogus monks in Geylang. SBF can definitely do more!

  4. Certainly, SBF shall undertake more responsibilities to be the watchdog for the buddhist community to tackle such bogus monks and MORE…

  5. Yes, we have to be really careful not to let bogus monastics mar the image of Buddhism. We can all be Dharma protectors. If Buddhists don’t protect, who will? Let’s not create the karma of apathy.

    When in doubt after asking, just call the police. If the innocent are innocent, it’s alright. Even if the ‘bogus monastics’ turn out to be not bogus, there is no bad karma as the intention is good. They get to learn from the police that in Singapore, it is illegal to get money on the streets as monastics. It’s good karma created instead if police are not called with animosity.

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