Turkish officials deny Bangkok bombing suspect is in Turkey

Turkish government officials deny allegations that suspected “mastermind” of deadly Bangkok bombing is in Turkey

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Police investigating Bangkok blast which occurred at Erawan Shrine on Aug.17

Turkish government officials on Monday denied the claims of Thai authorities, who stated that key suspect in Bangkok bombing had escaped to Istanbul, Turkey.

Thai police spokesman, Prawut Thawornsiri said on Monday, that a key suspect previously identified as the mastermind of the deadly Bangkok blast which occurred on Aug. 17, had fled to Istanbul, Turkey.

Thai authorities have not shared information on the matter and have not responded to the questions of Turkish authorities, said a source who spoke on condition anonymity. 

The suspect, Abudureheman Abudusataer, also known as “Ishan”, was carrying a Chinese passport. He had arrived in Bangladesh a day before the attack and left for China after two weeks, Thai police said on Friday.

However, Prawut said on Monday the latest information obtained by Thai police showed that the suspect left Bangladesh on Aug.30 and headed for Istanbul, as his final destination via Delhi and Abu Dhabi.

"Mr. Abudusataer left Dhaka [Bangladesh] on 30th of August for Delhi [India] on Jet Airways, and from Delhi he traveled on to Abu Dhabi [United Arab Emirates], and from Abu Dhabi he went to Istanbul on the 31st of August," Prawut told reporters.

The second suspect, Yusufu Mieraili told investigators during his questioning on Sept. 9, that a man he knows as “Ishan” had arranged meetings to organise the blast and assigned the participants their tasks.

Thai police released a photo of Abudusataer Abudureheman

Prawut explained on Saturday that the investigations have so far “not indicated that Ishan is the mastermind, in line with Mr. Mieraili testimony that he used to stay at the apartment in Nong Chok.” adding that it was possible that Mieraili “might have withheld key information, especially on the mastermind.”

On Sunday, Thai police raided an apartment in Bangkok. They could not find any evidence, but two women tenants and a guest were taken in for questioning.

On Monday, Malaysian police said a Pakistani and three Malaysians have been detained in connection with the bombing.

Thai police think that the man with yellow t-shirt who allegedly planted the bomb may have fled to Malaysia.

After Prawut said some suspects might have escaped to Malaysia, Malaysian police investigated and arrested suspects who allegedly took part in illegal human smuggling. Prawut believed the arrestees might have some information.

"However, we haven't had any confirmation. ... As a preliminary step, they have arrested suspects who are allegedly involved in illegal human smuggling. Whether they are involved in our bombing incident or not we will have to wait and see," he said.

TRTWorld and agencies