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BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai police called off the first day of their search for an influential Buddhist monk after their efforts proved unsuccessful, but vowed to resume on Friday.

Security forces had entered Thailand's biggest Buddhist temple on Thursday to search for the monk, wanted for money laundering after the leader of the ruling junta declared he was imposing control over the vast temple complex.

"We didn't find him today," police spokesman Woranan Silam told reporters. "We'll continue the search in the remaining areas tomorrow."

Authorities covered about 15 to 20 percent of the temple grounds on Thursday, he added.

(Reporting by Aukkarapon Niyomyat; Writing by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)