BANGKOK, Thailand (The Nation/ANN) - A Thai court issues an arrest warrant for Pakistani linked to the Erawan Shrine and Sathorn Pier bombings last month.
A Thai court yesterday issued an arrest warrant for Pakistani Abdul Tawab on charges of possessing explosives and weapons without a permit. The items in question might have some connection with the Erawan Shrine and Sathorn Pier bombings last month, police said.
A police source said the man might be the head of a human trafficking syndicate that helped two bomb suspects – a man wearing a blue shirt seen in a video passing the crime scene and another man who fled to Malaysia.
Police used clues obtained from searches of an apartment in Nong Chok district on August 29 to convince the court to approve the warrant.
Reports have suggested that Tawab had twice transferred funds to a bank account belonging to a Turkish man who is the husband of Wanna Suanson, a Thai woman also wanted by police but whose whereabouts are unknown.
Last month, two explosions rocked the capital. The one on August 17 at the popular Erawan Shrine killed 20 people and wounded more than 100. At least five Chinese tourists were killed and many others hospitalised. The other blast on the following day under Sathorn Pier caused no casualties.
Authorities are desperately struggling to bring the perpetrators to justice but so far have only two men known as Adem Karadag and Mieraili Yusufu.
Police have failed to narrow down their nationalities, roles in the bomb plot and motives, but give a lot of confusing information to the public every day.
A lawyer said a man earlier identified as Adem Karadag based on his fake passport is in fact named Bilal Muhammed. He was captured at an apartment in Bangkok where some bomb-making materials were also seized on August 26.
His nationality is also unclear. Thai police needed assistance from the Turkish Embassy to check more than 250 passports that police had retrieved from the apartment where Muhammed was nabbed. Lt-General Prawut Thavornsiri, a police spokesman, said the embassy officials could not verify the passports but police cannot have them sent to Turkey for examination as requested by the embassy, as they are pieces of evidence. “We might copy the barcodes and pass them to Turkey for verification,” he said.
Police would also ask Turkey to trace one of the prime suspects, Abu Dustar Abdulrahman, or Izan, who reportedly flew from Bangladesh to Turkey, Prawut said. However, cooperation between Thailand and Turkey on this point has not yet officially made any progress, although Thai police have said this to the public for days.
Deputy National Police chief General Jakthip Chaijinda blamed the media for the failure, saying their in-depth stories alerted all the suspects.
“If the media hadn’t reported on the suspects’ movements, we would have got them last week,” he said.
Jakthip obtained no significant information during his visit to Malaysia on Wednesday after a report that Kuala Lumpur had arrested three suspects for illegal entry.