First arrested suspect of deadly blast occured on Aug. 17 in Bangkok, identified as "Adem Karadag" by the Thai police, has allegedly paid a $600 bribe to illegally enter Thailand, police said on Thursday.
The suspect was arrested on Aug. 29, when the police raided his apartment and found bomb-making materials and dozens of fake Turkish passports.
Thai police have not discovered out the role of the suspect in the blast but they now know more about how he came to Thailand. It is believed that he entered from either Laos or Cambodia, but not confirmed yet. Both countries are between Thailand and Vietnam.
"The first man [Karadag] said he travelled through Vietnam to a neighbouring country where he then paid for transportation," National Police Chief Somyot Poompanmoung told reporters, without specifying which neighbouring country.
"At the Thai border he paid $600 [to cross into Thailand]," he added, without revealing the identity of the official who took the bribe.
Thailand is infamous for officials often willing to accept a bribe from on-the-run foreigners and visa over-stayers. Nowadays, Somyot as a former deputy commander with immigration police, has complained about the ease of bribing at the borders.
"I cannot ignore this problem because I feel ashamed," he told reporters on Wednesday as he demanded the ruling junta to help him deal with the corruption of border officials.
Somyot asked Thailand’s Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, for help to investigate and take action against current corruption allegations.
Thai media reported on Thursday that Somyot had submitted a report to the prime minister about corrupt behaviours of the immigration police. A memorandum dated Sept. 9 was sent to the premier and deputy prime minister for security, Gen Prawit Wongsuwon.
"Immigration is the first line of defence as it screens people entering and leaving the kingdom and plays a pivotal role in national security. To make the investigation as transparent and fair as possible, I would like to ask you to consider ordering agencies in charge of probing officials to take action in this case," Somyot wrote.
At least six police officers were removed from their posts on the Thai border with Cambodia for allegedly taking bribes to let people enter.
The second suspect of the bombing, Yusufu Mieraili, had also been arrested on the border with Cambodia on Sept. 1.