Police in Thailand are looking for two new suspects, a woman and a man, in connection with a bombing in Bangkok that left 20 dead.
Michael Sullivan filed this report from Thailand for Newscast:
“One of the suspects is a 26-year-old woman, a Thai, her picture shown today on national television — a photo of a young woman wearing a headscarf. A sketch of the man was also shown. Police did not identify him by name or nationality. The national police spokesman said bomb-making materials were found on Sunday after police raided an apartment rented by the Thai woman.
“On Saturday, police made their first arrest in the case, a man whose identity and nationality have not been released. That arrest is believed to have led to Sunday’s raid and the new warrants. No group has taken responsibility for the attack on the Erawan Shrine in the commercial heart of the capital two weeks ago. Most of the dead were foreigners. Four from mainland China and two from Hong Kong.”
The Associated Press reports that “police said Monday evening that relatives of the woman, identified as 26-year-old Wanna Suansun, said they believe she is in Turkey.”
The police search of the property in the city’s Min Buri district turned up fertilizer, digital watches and an explosives detonator, according to Reuters. The news service adds that during Saturday’s raid and arrest, police “seized several kinds of explosives and more than 200 passports.”
Over the weekend, Thailand’s police chief also awarded his own employees the $84,000 reward for the arrest.
“Somyot Pumpanmuang said the officers deserved it as there had been no public tip-off to help them.
“Police chief Pumpanmuang said that the Thai police should be credited for capturing the suspect.
” ‘The accomplished work that led to the arrest is truly the work of the authorities and their investigative abilities. This was the work of the Thai authorities, there were no tip-offs,’ he added.”
The New York Times reports that the man might not be the government’s prime suspect. The police chief, the newspaper reports, made the announcement of the arrest and the reward holding a bag full of money.
The Times adds:
“The decision quickly added to criticism on social media over police handling of the bombing investigation. Many Thais have expressed doubt that the bombing will be solved, citing a reputation Thai police have for corruption and forcing confessions.
“Within days of the blast, Somyot said he was offering a 1 million baht ($28,000) reward to help find the perpetrators. The sum quickly tripled after he said two of his friends who wished to remain nameless had chipped in 2 million baht ($56,000) more.”