A Thai woman suspected of facilitating the 2015 Erawan Shrine bombing, the deadliest attack in Bangkok, returned to Thailand and was taken into police custody on Wednesday evening.
It was reported that Wanna Suansan, 30, arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport with two young sons aged three and eighteen months. After being greeted by waiting relatives, she was whisked away to the Royal Thai Police Office for interrogation.
Her sister-in-law Em-on Suansan was quoted as saying that her family had not seen Mrs Wanna since 2015, and Mrs Wanna returned to prove her innocence in the justice system.
According to the sister, Mrs Wanna had been in Turkey since the bombing. She had been detained after being arrested with her husband there.
Police suspect Mrs Wanna, the first Thai suspect identified in the case, acted as a facilitator of the terrorist attack, renting rooms for other bombing suspects who were friends of her Turkish husband Emrah Davutoglu.
The husband was accused of handling bomb-making material. The couple left with their infant son for Turkey, via Phuket, before the repatriation of 109 Uighurs, which was initially believed to have provoked the Aug 17 bombing at the Erawan Shrine.
The bomb, hidden in a backpack left behind a seat at the Erawan Shrine, exploded at 6.55pm on Aug 17, 2015. Twenty people, including 12 foreigners, were killed, and more than 120 others injured.
Suspected bomber Adem Karadag, 26, also known as Bilal Turk, was arrested in a rented room in Nongchok district a few weeks later. Yusufu Mierali, 27, was later detained in Sa Kaeo province, suspected of acquiring bomb components and assembling the bomb for Mr Adem to plant.
One theory suggested the bombing was in retaliation for the government's deportation of 109 Uighurs to China in July 2015.
Police earlier ruled that out, saying the investigation indicated it was the work of members of a Uighur trafficking network upset with the Thai authorities' crackdown on their business.
Deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said late Wednesday that Mrs Wanna was charged with participation in premeditated murder, attempted murder, fatal bombing, and illegal bomb possession.
She was detained at the Lumpini police station Wednesday night and would be brought to the military court Thursday morning.
Pol Gen Srivara said the arrest did not result from an extradition but was made after police learned that she would return. He said he had no idea where the woman had come from.
Subsequent legal action, he added, rested with the military court because the arrest warrant had been issued by the Bangkok military court in September 2015.
Police are seeking 14 other suspects still at large, he said.
Police and bomb squad officers inspect the blast site at the Erawan shrine at the Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok on Aug 17, 2015. Twenty people were killed in the blast. (File photo)