Police arrest Erawan bomb suspect; Second raid conducted (Updated Sunday)
published : 30 Aug 2015 at 09:30
updated: 31 Aug 2015 at 10:41
writer: Terry Fredrickson
Thai police have arrested a 28-year-old man holding a fake Turkish passport in connection with the Erawan shrine bombing. Phone records played a big role in yesterday's arrest . A second raid was also carried out Sunday afternoon.
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A Royal Thai Police photograph taken with a mobile phone shows a suspect named on a fake Turkish passport as Adem Karadag after his arrest in an apartment in Nong Chok district of Bangkok on Saturday. Police are still working to determine his identity and nationality. (EPA photo)
Sunday afternoon update
(17:20) The Turkish Embassy has reportedly denied that the arrested man is a citizen of their country. National police spokesman Pol Lt Gen-Prawut Thavornsiri also says he in not cooperating well with the investigators. It seems, however, that he may be giving some information because another raid has just taken place. Here are the details from our online reporters:
Min Buri apartment searched
A combined police and military force on Sunday searched a three-storey apartment in Bangkok's Min Buri district for more evidence that may be linked to the Aug 17 bombings.
Pol Col Kanchol Intraram, chief of Min Buri police, said the search, with a court warrant, was carried out on information obtained from a foreign man who was arrested on Saturday in an apartment in Nong Chok district.
The information from the suspect suggested that Maimuna Garden Home apartment on Rat-uthit road was where his associates kept their belongings, he said.
Pol Col Susak Prakamakul, deputy chief of Metropolitan Police Division 3 who led the search, said the force had examined nine of the apartment block's 30 rooms.
The 21 other rooms will be searched after the lessees are contacted, he said.
A welding tool, found in in Room No 9102, was seized for examination.
Sunday morning update
Police spokesman Pol Lt Gen-Prawut Thavornsiri just had a long interview on Channel 3 in which he expressed confidence that arrested man was indeed involved in the two recent bombings, but may not have planted either of them. He did not have much new information, but he did say that police are working with a translator to try to definitively establish the identity and nationality of the arrested suspect. He also confirmed that police are requestening a taxi driver who had picked up a suspect about a telephone call he had made.
Thai PBS also reports the Turkish Embassy has indicated its willingness to assist the Thai investigation.
Below is a long excerpt from this morning's main story in the Bangkok Post.
The audio for the story follows the full text.
Phone data leads to bomb arrest
A police source close to the investigation said the arrest of the foreign man, who is believed to be Turkish, came after investigators spent more than a week sifting through every mobile phone call made within the vicinity of the shrine around the time of the bombing on Aug 17.
He said officers managed to identify three Turkish phone numbers which had activated international roaming services and were in use near the blast site.
Police apparently traced one of those phone numbers to the suspect apprehended yesterday.
Around 100 police and soldiers moved in to make the arrest around 3pm at the Pool Anant apartment building in Nong Chok district, in the city’s eastern outskirts.
A military source said the suspect held a Turkish passport by the name of Adem Karadag, 28, although the document was later found to be fake.
A large quantity of bomb-making materials and equipment which allegedly belong to the suspect were seized from his rented room.
Deputy national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda said “many” passports had also been found in the suspect’s room. They were confiscated as evidence and would be tested for authenticity.
Pol Gen Chakthip said it was unclear if the suspect is the same man seen on CCTV footage wearing a yellow T-shirt and depositing a backpack at the Erawan Shrine minutes before the bombing.
However, sources in the Metropolitan Police Bureau and the Crime Suppression Division said the suspect is not believed to be the bomber. Instead he is believed to be one of three individuals involved in orchestrating the blast, which killed 20 people and injured 130.
Authorities have linked the incident to another bomb which exploded in the water near the Sathon pier the following day. There were no injuries.
The police sources said the detained suspect is believed to have delivered the bomb to the suspect in the yellow T-shirt at Hua Lamphong train station, shortly before the bomber caught a tuk-tuk to the shrine to plant the device.
The sources added the Erawan Shrine and Sathon pier bombers may have already fled the country.
The detained suspect possibly remained in the country because he has problems with his travel document, the sources said. Even passing inspection of the fake passport showed several inconsistencies, the most notable being that the “date of expiry” line had been printed twice.
A poor-quality forged passport. Note the two expiry dates.
The suspect has been charged with possessing explosives without permission, said national police chief Somyot Poompanmuang.
He was remanded in military custody at an undisclosed location yesterday after being briefly detained for questioning at Nong Chok police station.
Before that, officers had searched five rooms at the apartment complex, four of which proved empty.
Crime Suppression Division commander Akkaradech Pimolsri said bomb making equipment and parts were found in the suspect’s room, including large packs of 5mm ball bearings, the same as the type used in the two bombings.
Also recovered were a detonator, batteries, electrical wires, a metal pipe, chemical containers and a gunpowder-stained shirt.
A police source said rental contracts showed all five rooms had been rented by a male Turkish passport holder named Ammet Mehmet Emin Ayse on January 27 last year.
Local residents living near the apartment building told reporters the suspect could not speak Thai and mostly kept to himself. Sometimes, he and several friends would eat at a local food stall.
Saturday evening update
Post Today reports tonight that five rooms were rented out in the apartment under the name AHEMET MEHMMET EMIN AYSE. Police have released more photos of materials found in the apartment and they do look suspicious indeed. It seems quite possible that members of the group involved were planning more attacks.
In a surprisingly short (3-minute) statement, Police spokesman Pol Lt Gen-Prawut Thavornsiri confirmed that a foreign national of unspecified nationality has been taken into custody and is believed to be involved in both the Erawan shrine bombing and the Sathorn pier bombing. Pol Lt-Gen Prawut also showed photos of various bomb-making materials found in the apartment, including detonaters and a steel pipe. The man, the police say, may not have planted the bombs, but he is part of the network that carried out the operation.
Police arrest Erawan bomb suspect
According to the report, Thai police raided an apartment on Soi Chueam Samphan 11 in Bangkok's Nong Chok district about two o'clock this afternoon, arresting its occupant. The reports also say bomb-making equipment was found, including ball-bearings very similar to those used in the Erawan shrine bombing.
The scene in Nong Chok outside the apartment at midday. No-one is being allowed inside. Post Today photo.
Post Today reports that national police chief Somyot Poompanmoung said plainclothes police were instrumental in tracking down the suspect and that others were involved in the plot, possibly some Thais.
A police handout photo shows arresting officers with the suspect and some of the suspicious objects found in his room. (Note: Normally, we have a policy of blurring the faces of suspects who have not yet been charged or convicted of a crime, but since the Thai police have officially released a photo of the suspect, we are now showing it as well.)
Photos said to be of the suspect's passport are being shared through the social media and some are saying that it is clearly a fake. Even the capital "Istanbul" is spelled incorrectly in Turkish, sources say. Thai PBS reports that other passports were also found and the suspect had rented several rooms in the apartment. (Update: Thai police are now confirming the passport was forged.)
Police have scheduled a press conference for 6pm.
Learn from listening
- activate: to make something such as a device or chemical process start working - กระตุ้น, ทำให้เกิดปฏิกริยาตอบสนอง
- alert: to tell someone in authority about a danger or problem so that they can deal with it - เตือนให้ระวัง
- allegedly (adv): stated without giving complete proof - ที่ถูกกล่าวหา, นัยว่า
- apparently: based only on what you have heard or think, not on what you are certain is true; seemingly - ตามที่ได้รู้มา
- apprehended (verb): caught; arrested; caught by the police - ถูกจับ, โดนจับกุม
- arrest (verb): (of the police) to take someone to a police station because they are believed to have committed a crime - จับกุม
- associate: someone you work with, especially in a business - ผู้ที่มีความสัมพันธ์กัน (เช่น เพื่อน, ผู้ร่วมงาน, หุ้นส่วน)
- authenticity (noun): the quality of being genuine or true - ความจริง, ความถูกต้อง
- authority (noun): a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
- backpack: a large bag, often supported on a light metal frame, carried on the back and used especially by people who go climbing or walking - เป้สะพายหลัง, กระเป๋าสะพายหลัง
- ball bearing: small metal balls used in machines - ตลับลูกปืนเม็ดกลม
- belongings: the things you own - ข้าวของเครื่องใช้
- blast: an explosion - การระเบิด
- CCTV footage: video from a CCTV camera - ภาพหรือหนังในเทปวิดีโอจากกล้องวงจรปิดเพื่อรักษาการความปลอดภัย
- charge: to accuse someone officially of committing a crime - ตั้งข้อกล่าวหา
- combination (noun): the mixture you get when two or more things are combined - การรวมกัน
- combined: joint; done together; belonging to or shared between two or more people - ที่ร่วมกัน, ร่วมมือกัน
- commander: a police offer of high rank - ผู้บังคับบัญชา
- complex: an area that has several parts - พื้นที่ประกอบด้วยส่วนต่าง ๆ
- confiscated: officially taken away as a punishment - ยึดทรัพย์
- container: something used for storing or holding things - หีบบรรจุ
- convicted: having been proven guilty of a crime by a court of law - ต้องโทษ, ได้รับการพิสูจน์ว่าข้อกล่าวหามีความผิดจริง
- cooperate: to work with other people to achieve a result that is good for everyone involved - ร่วมมือกัน
- Crime Suppression Division (CSD): a national police department responsible for conducting most of the technical investigations of criminal offenses - กองบังคับการปราบปราม
- custody: the state of being in prison or under police control, especially while waiting for trial - การกักขัง, การคุมขัง
- definitively (adv): finally; in a way that cannot be changed or challenged - อย่างแน่นอน, อย่างท้ายที่สุด, อย่างไม่เปลี่ยนแปลง
- denied (verb): said that something is not true or did not happen - ปฏิเสธ
- deposit: to leave something somewhere - ทับถม, สะสม
- deputy: a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง
- details: small facts or pieces of information relating to a situation - รายละเอียด
- detained: kept in a place and not allowed to leave - กักตัว ควบคุมตัวหรือฝากขัง
- detonator (noun): a piece of equipment on a bomb that makes it explode - เครื่องมือที่ใช้จุดระเบิด, ที่จุดระเบิด
- document: a paper or set of papers with written or printed information, especially of an official type - เอกสาร
- embassy: a group of officials who represent their government in a foreign country - สถานทูต
- evidence: facts statements or objects that help to prove whether or not someone has committed a crime - หลักฐาน
- excerpt: a part of a longer story, speech, song, text, etc. - บทคัดย่อ
- expiry: the time that something is finished and expires so cannot be used anymore - การหายใจออก,การหมดอายุ,การยุติ,การตาย, วันหมดอายุ
- fake: made to look like something real to trick people - ปลอม
- fled (past of flee): escaped; left an area very quickly because of a danger there - หนีไป
- forge: to make illegal copies of something valuable, especially in order to earn money - ปลอมแปลง
- gunpowder: explosive powder used especially in bombs, bullets or fireworks - ดินปืน, ดินดำ
- identify: to specify - ระบุ
- incident: something that happens, usually something bad - เหตุการณ์
- inconsistency: something that does not match something else - ปมคดี หรือ ความไม่ต่อเนื่องบางประการ
- indicate: to show - แสดง
- individual: a person considered separately rather than as part of a group - บุคคล
- injury (noun): physical damage done to a person or a part of their body - อาการบาดเจ็บ
- inspection: an official process of checking that things are in the correct condition or that people are doing what they should - การตรวจสอบตรวจตรา
- instrumental: involved in an important way in making something happen - เป็นเครื่องมือ, มีประโยชน์
- intensive: extremely thorough; done with a lot of care; involving a lot of work or activity done in a short time - เข้มข้น, เข้มงวด, คร่ำเคร่ง
- investigator: someone whose job is to officially find out the facts about something, especially a crime or accident - ตำรวจฝ่ายสอบสวนคดีอาชญากรรม
- involved (verb): taking part or having a role in something - เกี่ยวข้อง, มีบทบาท
- lessee (noun): a person who has use of a building, an area of land, etc. on a lease (rental agreement) - ผู้เช่า
- lethal: very dangerous and able to kill you - เป็นอันตรายถึงชีวิต
- linked: connected - เชื่อมต่อ เชื่อมโยง
- local: in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ท้องถิ่น
- location: where someone or something is - ที่ตั้ง,ทำเล
- male: being a man or a boy - ผู้ชาย
- materials (noun): things that are needed in order to do a particular activity - วัสดุ
- media: radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group - สื่อ
- Metropolitan Police Bureau (noun): a city police department, the Bangkok city police department - กองบัญชาการตำรวจนครบาล
- nationality: the official right to belong to a particular country - สัญชาติ,เชื้อชาติ, ชนชาติ
- network: a large system of connected parts, organisations, people, etc. - เครือข่าย
- notable (adj): important; deserving to be noticed or to receive attention - น่าสังเกต,เด่น, น่าจดจำ
- obtain: to get something that you want or need, especially by going through a process that is difficult - ได้มา, ได้รับ
- operation: a planned activity involving a lot of people, especially soldiers or police officers - การปฏิบัติการ
- orchestrate: to plan and organise a complicated event or activity - จัดการ, วางแผน
- outskirts: the areas at the edge of a city - ชานเมือง
- passing (adj): brief; done very quickly; lasting for only a short time - ผ่านพ้นไปอย่างรวดเร็ว,ชั่วแล่น
- permission: allowing someone to do something - การอนุญาต,การอนุมัติ,การยินยอม
- pier: a platform sticking out into water which people walk along or use when getting onto or off boats - ท่าเรือชนิดยื่นออกไปในน้ำ, สะพานที่ยื่นออกไปในน้ำ
- plainclothes (adj): ordinary clothes, esp. of police officers who wear regular clothes instead of police uniforms - นอกเครื่องแบบ
- plant: (of an explosive) to hide in a place where it can be exploded - ฝัง
- plot: a secret plan to do something bad - แผนการลับ
- possess: to have or own something - ครอบครอง, ถือครอง
- press conference: an official meeting where someone makes a formal statement about a particular issue or event to journalists and answers their questions about it - การแถลงข่าว
- prove to be: to be shown to be - ปรากฏว่า, แสดงว่า
- quantity: a particular amount of something - ปริมาณ, จำนวน
- raid: to forcefully and suddenly enter a place to catch criminals or to search for something like drugs - ใช้กำลังเข้าค้นสถานที่หรือ จับกุมคนร้าย
- remand: to send somebody away from a court to wait for their trial which will take place at a later date - ส่งกลับไปคุมขังระหว่างรอการพิจารณาคดี
- reportedly: as reported (often used for showing that you are not certain that something you are reporting is true) - ตามที่รายงาน
- reporter: someone whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news - ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว
- resident: a person who lives in a particular area - ผู้ที่อาศัยในท้องที่
- roaming: the ability to connect to the Internet or to use your mobile phone when you are travelling, without having to make long-distance or international phone calls -
- schedule: to arrange for something to happen at a particular time - ทำตารางเวลา, ทำกำหนดการ, กำหนดรายการ
- search (verb): to look somewhere carefully in order to find someone/something - ค้นหา
- seize: to take something using official power - ยึด
- shrine: a place for worship which is holy because of a connection with a holy person or object - สถานที่บูชา
- sift: to examine something very carefully in order to decide what is important or useful or to find something important; to put flour or some other fine substance through a sieve/sifter - ค้นหา, ร่อนแยก, กรอง
- site: a place where something happens or happened - สถานที่เกิดเหตุ
- source: a place where information comes from; someone who gives information - แหล่งข่าว
- stained (adj): covered with coloured marks from something like blood or paint - เป็นคราบ, เปรอะเปื้อน
- storey (noun): a level in a structure; a level in a building - ชั้น, ชั้นของตึกหรืออาคาร
- surround: to be everywhere around someone/something; encircle - ล้อมรอบ
- suspect: a person who is thought to have committed a crime - ผู้ต้องสงสัย
- suspicious: making you believe that something is wrong, dangerous or illegal - น่าสงสัย
- trace: to follow the evidence to find out something - ตามรอย ตามทาง
- tracking down: trying to find someone or something - ตามรอย
- undisclosed: not reported publicly - ไม่เปิดเผย
- unspecified: not stated clearly or definitely - ไม่ระบุให้แน่ชัด
- vicinity: an area near a particular place - บริเวณใกลเคียง
- warrant (noun): a legal document that is signed by a judge and gives the police authority to do something - หมาย
- welding: the process of joining two pieces of metal by heating them and pressing them together, or to become joined by this process - การเชื่อมโลหะ
- willingness (noun): not objecting to doing something; having no reason for not doing something - ความเต็มใจ, ความสมัครใจ