Malaysia arrests eight Bangkok blast suspects

Malaysia detains eight people suspected of being connected with deadly August 17 Bangkok blast despite no concrete evidence of involvement

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A suspect of the August 17 Bangkok blast who was arrested last week near the border with Cambodia walks with police officers during a crime re-enactment near the bomb site at Erawan Shrine in Bangkok

Malaysian police told they have detained eight people on Wednesday on suspicion of being connected with the Bangkok blast killed 20 people and injured more than 130 others on August 17.

The police stated that four of the detained suspects are Uighurs and four of them are locals. The Uighur suspects are believed to have been brought to the country by the local suspects who were allegedly involved in human trafficking.

According to statements from Malaysian Police Deputy Inspector General Noor Rashid Ibrahim the police made the arrests despite not being able to confirm yet whether the suspects were linked to the attack.

Ibrahim told reporters, “There is no concrete evidence till now to prove their direct involvement. So we are detaining them and Thai authorities also know about the arrests to help them further their investigations.”

He also added that if Thailand demands suspects be extradited from Malaysia Thai authorities will need to show evidence and follow legal procedures.

Thai Police Chief Somyot Pumpanmuang also stated he cannot confirm whether the suspects were linked to the blast.

A Thai police officer stands guard as people pray at the Erawan shrine in central Bangkok, Thailand, September 8, 2015

“At this point, I cannot confirm that information, because I have not been contacted. At the same time, we don’t feel like we can confirm this information… But in details, I cannot explain or confirm any information.”

He also stated that they have never sent police officers to Malaysia regarding the investigation because the Malaysian side has never requested officials or agencies from Thailand.

Later, Thai Police spokesman Prawut Thawornsiri said six of the suspects had no connection with the Bangkok blast.

 "It's impossible to extradite them back because they did not commit any wrongdoing in Thailand. Malaysia has also denied that they had any connection with the Bangkok blast after their investigation," he said. 

Malaysian police have arrested at least five people in September alone in connection with the bombing while Thai police have linked nine suspects with the blast.

Thai police chief General Somyot Pumpanmuang earlier told reporters that there was a connection between the attack and Thailand’s deportation of 109 Uighurs in July which caused worldwide outrage. However, he later said the blast was organised by human trafficers as an act of revenge after the government began a crackdown on thier activities.



TRTWorld and agencies