A Buddhist monk decided to break his lifelong vow of celibacy with a prostitute - but picked up an undercover police officer instead.

Hoa Trung Nguyen, 47, from the Phap Bao Temple in Sydney, even haggled with the 'prostitute' for a better deal.

But after being unceremoniously bundled into an unmarked police car, Nguyen claimed he was joking, reports the Herald Sun.

But magistrate Ronald Maiden was not laughing as he convicted the monk for soliciting a prostitute and put him on bond for 12 months.

"The accused's version of events, in my view, borders on farcical," he said. "It is quite fantastic."

Cabramatta police were running an undercover operation on August 7 to stop prostitution in Fisher St, a residential area.

CCTV footage showed Nguyen, his robes under an overcoat, approaching the officer dressed as a prostitute.

Nguyen admitted asking about price but blamed it on human curiosity.

"I only want to ask her as a joke because of who I am. I would never do anything like that," he said.


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