Turkey’s Bangkok Embassy says bombing suspect not Turkish

Turkish Embassy in Bangkok says Erawan Shrine bombing suspect not Turkish citizen

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

An arrested suspect of the recent Bangkok blast is shown in this Thai Royal Police handout released August 29, 2015

Turkey’s Bangkok Embassy informed local authorities in Thailand that the suspect, who was arrested by Thai police on Saturday in relation to deadly Erawan Shrine bombing, is not a Turkish citizen, Thai police said on Sunday.

The suspect was arrested with a stack of passports and bomb making materials in his apartment in Bangkok.

The identity and nationality of the man has become a matter of controversy shortly after his arrest as one of the passport found in his apartment showed him to be a Turkish citizen.

However, the inconsistencies in the passport found indicated that it was fake.

Thai National Police Spokesman Prawut Thawornsiri also confirmed that the document is 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.”

Prawut also said on Sunday that the suspect, who is being held in military custody, has been silent since his arrest and did not answer any of the police’s questions about his involvement in the bombing.

The Bangkok blast occurred on Aug. 17 and killed 20 people.

After the man’s arrest Thailand’s Nation TV on Saturday aired an image of a suicide vest allegedly belonging to the accused Bangkok Erawan Shrine bomber.

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

Thai Police wrote on their official Twitter account that the footage circulating online media that shows the vest containing is not true.

"These images were not involved in the bombing, and are not from the Thai government," the tweet said.

The TV has drawn criticism in the social media as people and journalist reacted to the fake images.

TRTWorld and agencies