'Man in blue' ruled out as Samui bomb suspect

'Man in blue' ruled out as Samui bomb suspect

Maj Gen Kuarkul Innachak, chief of the Surat Thani army, visits Central Festival Samui on Monday to boost confidence for tourists and locals after the car bomb at the mall. (Photo by Thanarak Khunton)
Maj Gen Kuarkul Innachak, chief of the Surat Thani army, visits Central Festival Samui on Monday to boost confidence for tourists and locals after the car bomb at the mall. (Photo by Thanarak Khunton)

KOH SAMUi – So much for the “man in blue” theory.

Police on this resort island have ruled out as a suspect a man in a blue shirt captured by security cameras and speculated to be the driver of the truck that exploded Friday at Central Festival Samui.

Somchai Nittayabowornkul, who leads the investigation, said Tuesday that investigators had met with the blue-shirted mystery man and confirmed he was only a local resident in Koh Samui district of Surat Thani province. His name was withheld.

Thai Rath Online reported that he contacted the investigative team Monday night to assert his innocence after investigators released his photograph and pursued him based on the CCTV footage.

Pol Maj Gen Somchai said DNA samples from three security guards at the shopping centre had been collected and sent for testing. Police will ask the Samui court for an arrest warrant if the DNA of any of the three interrogated at a naval base on the island matched evidence found at the bomb site, added the officer, who is deputy commander of the Provincial Police Region 8.

Earlier reports said there were four guards taken by security authorities to the navy office.

With the man in blue given the green light, the only evidence investigators seemingly have left is the time when the pickup truck used in the bombing arrived on Koh Samui.

The stolen vehicle bearing a licence plate registered in Yala province was seen boarding the Raja Ferry from Don Sak district at 7.20am Friday, according to CCTVs from the ferry terminal. The explosion took place at 10.30pm that night.

National police chief Pol Gen Somyot Pumpanmuang said in Bangkok that police must have strong evidence before seeking an arrest warrant from the court and refused to comment when asked whether police were closing in on any suspects.


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