Bangkok Shrine Bombing: Police Announce Fingerprint Match in Probe

Pimuk Rakkanam

2015-09-02
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150902-TH-suspect-620 Thai police escort a suspect (center) in the Erawan Shrine bombing after his arrest in Sakaeo province, Sept. 1, 2015.
AFP

Fingerprints taken from a second suspect in the Aug. 17 bombing of Bangkok’s Erawan Shrine match those left on a bottle of explosives, which was found in an apartment of another suspect who is also in custody, Thai police said Wednesday.

In addition, police said that an arrest warrant was out for an eighth suspect in Thailand’s deadliest terrorist bombing, which killed 20 people and injured more than 125 at the Hindu shrine at Bangkok’s busy Rajaprasong intersection.

“Today, the fingerprint examination by the forensic department confirmed that the suspect left latent fingerprints on a bottle that contained explosive substance at the Poon Anant apartment,” Police Lt. Gen, Prawut Thavornsiri told a televised press briefing in Bangkok.

He was referring to the second suspect, an unidentified foreign man (pictured) who was arrested Tuesday in eastern Sakaeo province, on the Thai-Cambodian border. According to police, the man was trying to cross into Cambodia.

“We can confirm that the suspect was involved with the bomb attack,” Prawut told reporters, referring to the second suspect and adding that he was part of the same gang that carried out a bombing at the Sathorn riverside pier in Bangkok on Aug. 18, in which no one was injured.

Located in Nongjok district, a suburb of Bangkok, the apartment in the Poon Anant complex was where the first suspect, a 28-year-old foreigner, was arrested Saturday.

“He could have been the one who brought the bomb out of the room, or the one who brought the bomb to the bombing site. We are examining the evidence and biometrics found at the site. We are trying to match them,” Prawut said of the second suspect in custody.

Officials said they found bomb-making materials and parts in the Poon Anant apartment, along with a stash of passports from a foreign country. The first suspect in custody carried a Turkish passport, which was fake, according to officials.

Seven foreigners

So far, Thai authorities have announced the arrests of two of out of eight suspects in the Erawan Shrine bombing, seven of whom are foreigners from undisclosed countries.

The lone Thai suspect is a 26-year-old woman, Wanna Suansan, who reportedly is in Turkey.

A Sunday raid of her apartment in Min Buri, a Bangkok district, uncovered explosives and other bomb-making material, including Urea fertilizer.

A warrant has now been issued for the woman’s husband, a foreigner who is the eighth suspect in this case.

At this stage of the investigation, Thai authorities have not been able to verify the nationalities of the foreign suspects, but the priority is to keep the public safe, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters Wednesday before boarding a flight to China.

“The nationality verification must be done by the country a suspect claims he is from,” Prawit said.

“The most important thing is we need to find out who are in the gang …. How they are connected is very much more important,” he added.

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