Bangkok blast: Thailand's police say there is no evidence to link 8 arrested by Malaysia to case

Soldiers securing the site of the bombing before a reenactment in Bangkok on Sept 26, 2015.
Soldiers securing the site of the bombing before a reenactment in Bangkok on Sept 26, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK (THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Thailand's police said on Friday (Oct 2) there is no evidence that links the eight suspects arrested by Malaysia last month to the fatal bomb attack at Bangkok's Erawan Shrine on Aug 17.

"There no evidence yet to connect them to the bombing," Bernama quoted Thai police spokesman Prawuth Thavornsiri as saying.

He added that Thailand and Malaysia were still in contact over the bombing, with killed 20 people, Bernama reported.

He also told reporters that the suspects might know about people-smuggling from Thailand to Malaysia, according to Bernama.

The police are still searching for 15 suspects in connection with the case, including two Thais, one of whom is a woman.

Lieutenant Prawuth said the male suspect is Yongyut Pobkaew, also known as Aod Payungwong.

Police General Somyot Poompanmuang, a former national police chief, said Aod did not have an identity card, despite standing trial several times and being convicted of a crime.

The police visited Siriraj Hospital on Thursday to see if Aod's birth was registered there.

They had earlier visited Ban Banglamung elderly care centre in Chon Buri province to talk to Aod's mother Anong Payungwong, 61.

A police source quoted Anong as saying she had not seen her son in about five years and he had stopped sending her money during that period.

The source said Anong told police she delivered Aod at Siriraj Hospital and registered the birth there, making it possible for him to acquire the 13-digit identity card, but that he failed to apply for the card at a district office.

"We want to confirm his identity and his nationality is that of a Thai citizen," the source said.

Aod did not know who his father was, he worked as a garbage collector and frequently moved from place to place, the source said. He had a son and a daughter who were adopted by an Australian couple.

Lt Prawuth said Aod was last seen in Minburi and Nongchok district areas in Bangkok province.

 

The police previously linked him to explosions when protesters took to the streets against the Abhisit government and later the Yingluck government.

The suspicion that he may be involved in the blast has led police to believe that politics may have played a part in the attack. He was given a suspended jail term in an explosive-related case.

Lieutenant-General Sriwara Ransibrah-manakul, the deputy national police chief, said the police had enough evidence to link Aod to the case.