Arrested Bangkok bomb suspect 'no insurgency connections'

A suspect in the bombing at Soi Ramkhamhaeng 43/1 in Bangkok on May 26 was arrested in Muang district of Narathiwat province late Monday night, Pol Maj Gen Suchart Theerasawat, deputy chief of the Southern Border Provinces Police Operations Centre, said on Tuesday.

  • Published: 18/06/2013 at 04:10 PM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

Idris Satapo

He said the man, Idris Satapo, 24, was not linked in any way to the southern insurgency.

Pol Maj Gen Suchart said a 30-strong police team raided House No 18 at village 10 in tambon Khok Khian in Muang district about 11.30pm Monday.

They arrested Mr Idris, a suspect in the Ramkhamhaeng bombing that wounded seven people and destroyed two stores and a dozen street vendors' stalls on the night of May 26.

The officer said the arrest of Mr Idris was made on information from Kampee Lateh, a suspect who was arrested earlier.

Mr Idris had confessed he was one of those who placed the bomb in Soi Ramkhamhaeng 43/1, according to police.

He was being taken to Bangkok for further questioning, Pol Maj Gen Suchart said.

Supreme Commander Thanasak Patimapakorn said the Ramkhamhaeng bombing was not connected to the continuing unrest in Thailand's deep South. The arrested bomb suspect was not a southern insurgent.

"The bombing was likely the result of a business conflict," Gen Thanasak said.

Police chief Adul Saengsingkaew said Mr Idris was one of the four suspects iin the Ramkhamhaeng bombing.

"This group of suspects are not linked to the Runda Kumpalan Kecil (RKK) or other southern insurgent groups. They don't have criminal records or warrants out for their arrest," Pol Gen Adul said.

He said the improvised bomb that exploded at Ramkhamhaeng, at the entry to the market, was not the same as those used in the far South.

The blast was likely connected to disputes between vendors over selling spaces, the national police chief added.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung said he believed the bomb blast in Ramkhamhaeng was politically motivated.

Mr Chalerm said the arrest of Mr Idris would surely boost public confidence in the police force.

Democrat Party spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut called on the government to quickly find out the truth behind the Ramkhamhaeng bombing and clearly explain it to the public.

If it was at all connected to the southern unrest this could mean that the insurgents wanted to expand their activities to the capital of Thailand. If this turned out to be true the country's economy and investment atmosphere would be affected, Mr Chavanond said.

Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew, left, and Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung (Photo by Surapol Promsaka na Sakolnakorn)

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