Bangkok blast: Police obtain DNA test results from suspect's banknotes and taxi

Thai police have obtained DNA test results from banknotes which the Erawan Shrine bomb suspect gave to a tuk-tuk driver, as well as DNA test results from a taxi he travelled in.
Thai police have obtained DNA test results from banknotes which the Erawan Shrine bomb suspect gave to a tuk-tuk driver, as well as DNA test results from a taxi he travelled in. PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Thai police have obtained DNA test results from banknotes which the Erawan Shrine bomb suspect gave to a tuk-tuk driver, as well as DNA test results from a taxi he travelled in.

The court has also approved an arrest warrant for the person who allegedly lobbed a bomb at Sathorn Pier.

"We can't disclose details (of the test results) yet as it may affect ongoing investigations," Assistant National Police Chief Lt-General Prawut Thavornsiri said on Thursday.

On Aug 17, the suspect hailed the taxi on Rama IV Road and travelled to Hua Lamphong train station late in the afternoon. He later got into a tuk-tuk in front of the train station, got off at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel, and walked into the Erawan Shrine with a backpack.

He then left the backpack there and walked away - minutes before an explosion rocked the shrine, causing 20 deaths and injuring more than 100 others.

Police located drivers of the tuk-tuk and the taxi. Latent fingerprints were found in the taxi.

National Police Chief General Somyot Poompanmuang said the investigation was progressing as police were working very hard.

The police were also looking into an explosion near Sathorn Pier on Aug 18 that caused no casualties.

Prawut said examination of phone-signal-usage records at the two blast sites did not provide links to suspects.

"We believe the suspects may have used an Internet connection for communications," he said.

In a related development, PM's Office Minister Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana said he had received four more reports on the Grey Wolves, a right-wing organisation based in Turkey, which a security analsyt named as the most likely perpetrator.

Suwaphan said the reports differed from what Jane's Defence Weekly analyst Tony Davis told a forum at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand on Monday night.

Davis said the Grey Wolves might have done the attack as revenge for Thailand's deportation of more than 100 Uighurs to China in July, as the Grey Wolves have taken up the Uighur cause.

"We are listening. We are looking at all clues. But we have also received some other pieces of information," Suwaphan said without elaborating.

Turkey has conveyed its stand against terrorism to the Royal Thai Embassy in Ankara and expressed its readiness to cooperate if they have any concrete information.

"We follow with deep regret the speculative analyses and news reports trying to link Turkish citizens to the Erawan Shrine bomb attack and reiterate our solidarity with Thailand and our readiness to cooperate with Thai authorities," a statement read.