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article imageOver 1,000 aborted fetuses uncovered in Bangkok temple

By J Ocean Dennie     Nov 18, 2010 in World
A macabre collection of well over 1,500 fetuses have now been discovered in two raids this week at the morgue of a Thai Buddhist temple in an outlying district of Bangkok.
In this shocking story, The Nation first reported that authorities have arrested an undertaker associated with the temple. Suthep Cha-bangbon, 46, is alleged to have co-operated with area abortion clinics, agreeing to accept the fetuses and inter them in the temple's morgue. Another source through an online blog has revealed that Suthep had only been on the job for three months and that he admitted that normally, he accumulated the bodies and cremated them altogether. But as the crematorium has not been working, Suthep kept the remains inside. This admission suggests that even more fetuses could have been disposed through the temple prior to the crematorium breaking down.
The Bangkok Post reports that as many as ten abortion clinics may be implicated. A second female suspect, Lanjakorn Jantamanas, has been arrested and is believed to have carried out a large number of the abortions herself. It is also alleged that she was also hired to transport other aborted remains from these clinics to the temple and was paid approximately $16 a trip.
At first, authorities had only discovered a few hundred fetuses, but after a subsequent raid a day later, the number has escalated to well over 1,500. When CNN broke the news on air November 17, anchor Ali Velshi reported that neighbours of the temple suspected something was amiss given the horrific rotting stench.
Pending further investigation, it appears that no monks were involved in the grisly enterprise, however, it remains to be seen why none of them alerted authorities before the number of fetuses reached such an epic scale. Traditionally, it is not uncommon for Thais to take the remains of loved ones to a local temple for cremation. Monks are asked usually to perform religious rites surrounding the cremation, nothing more, and are not involved usually in the handling of bodies, or in this cases, aborted fetuses.
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