Thai police claims Bangkok bombing suspect lives in Turkey

Thai police claims female suspect in Erawan Shrine bombing lives in Turkey, woman denies accusations

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Thai police Lieutenant General Prawut Thawornsiri speaks to media at Royal Thai Police headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, August 30, 2015

Thai police claimed that a female suspect of Erawan Shrine bombing, whose pictures were released earlier, has connections to Turkey, Reuters reported.

New York Times reporter Thomas Fuller reported that the woman has been living in Turkey for three months with her Turkish husband.

Citing Ibrahim Komkham, the Thai headman of the village where the suspect used to live, Fuller tweeted Wanna "wants to surrender to prove her innocence" and requests "Thai authorities pay for her airfare because she cannot afford the ticket."

Claims connecting another suspect to Turkey has also emerged after Thai police arrested a man in relation to the bombing in Bangkok on Saturday, as a passport found in the suspects apartment showed him to be a Turkish citizen.

However, the passport turned out to be fake.

Thai police had issued on Monday arrest warrants for two suspects, a Thai woman named Wanna Suansat (26) and another foreign man of unknown nationality, earlier in the day and expanded the parameters of their search for suspects behind the deadly bombing in Bangkok.

Deputy provincial police chief of Thailand’s southern Phangna Province, Taracha Thompat, told Reuters by phone that police visited the woman’s family in the region and asked them about her whereabouts.

"They said Wanna lives in Turkey with her Turkish partner and her child. She has not contacted them for a while," Thompat said after talking to the suspects family.

Police Major General Chalit Keawyarat said Wanna's family told them she had been away since June, and they think she is in Turkey with her husband.

Thai National Police Spokesman Prawut Thawornsiri confirmed passport of the suspect captured on Saturday was fake and they do not know the man’s nationality.

“The passport you see is fake,” said Prawut, “We don’t know if he is Turkish or not.”

Turkey’s Bangkok Embassy also told local authorities in Thailand that the suspect is not a Turkish citizen.

Thai authorities have drawn criticism as the investigation has failed to produce any concrete results so far and inconsistencies in the evidence have undermined the reliability of investigation.

After the man’s arrest, Thailand’s Nation TV on Saturday aired an image of a suicide vest allegedly belonging to the alleged bomber.

The image later proved to be fake as it was taken from US Transport Security Administration’s official blog on March 8, 2013.

The Bangkok blast occurred on Aug. 17 and killed 20 people, most of which were tourists.

TRTWorld and agencies