Thai Police Arrest Bombing Suspect Carrying Over 200 Forged Passports

Thai police have arrested a “foreign” suspect allegedly behind the Aug. 17 bombings that rocked the country’s capital Bangkok. The arrest of the suspect offers Thai authorities an opportunity to get to the bottom the bombings that claimed the lives of dozens.

Thai police on Saturday said they had made an arrest of a suspect believed to be behind the recent bombings in Erawan Shrine. Police reported to making the arrest after raiding the suspect’s apartment and finding him in possession of over 200 passports and bomb making material.

Initial reports indicated that the suspect was found holding several detonators and metallic pipes believed to have been for another bomb.

Although the authorities declined to reveal the suspect’s name, he has been described as “foreigner” who knows a little English but no Thai. The police now believe he was part of an illegal immigrant ring that provided passports to migrants. All the passports found were from one country which was not named.

Thai Police Spokesman Prawuth Thavornsiri said, “He is not cooperating much. From our preliminary investigation, we think he isn’t telling us the truth. He told us how he entered Thailand but we don’t believe everything he says.”

The Aug. 17 bombings took place outside the populous Erawan Shrine dedicated to the worship of Indian gods. The explosion claimed 20 lives and seriously injured 120 more.

Following the days of the attack, no group claimed responsibility for it. Prawuth said on Sunday that the arrested suspect was a member of “an illegal network that sends people who don’t have passports to third countries.” He added that the bombings were revenge on a recent government crackdown on illegal immigration.

He police spokesman said, “The police chief thinks it’s personal revenge, anger from a group that is not happy with the work of officials, that we have arrested some of his people. We have been very strict about getting rid of fake passports.”

Thavornsiri said, “From our preliminary checks, he is related to both bombings. We believe he is a culprit in the same network.”

The suspect will be arraigned in court to answer charges for possession of unauthorized explosives. He is currently under military custody.

The Erawan bombings marked a dark day for Thailand, a country mired with religious tension and political unrest. Thai police have acted brilliantly in arresting the suspect and allowing for the law to take its course.

Thai police announced on Monday that they will pocket the $84,000 reward that had been offered for information about the bombing suspects.

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