Malaysian police arrested two suspects in connection with the Erawan Shrine bombing, local media reported on Saturday. A police source said Malaysian police informed their Thai counterparts on Friday about the arrests.
The arrests came after Police Inspector General Suchart Teerasawat travelled to Malaysia to coordinate an investigation to track down a yellow t-shirted suspect caught on CCTV placing a bag containing a bomb at Erawan Shrine in Bangkok on Aug. 17.
The suspect had sneaked out of Thailand crossing the Thai-Malaysian border at Sungai Kolok district in Narathiwat with the help of a people smuggling network.
The police source said Police Liutenant General Suchart returned to Thailand on Friday and he is now in Yala, southern Thailand, waiting to be informed if Malaysia will extradite the suspects to Thailand.
"The source said Police Liutenant General Suchart is now in Yala, waiting for Malaysia to inform him if they are going to extradite the suspects to Thailand," said the report by local media.
There is an extradition treaty between Thailand and Malaysia.
No information was provided for the identities of the two arrested suspects by Malaysian police.
Meanwhile, Bangkok contacted Chinese authorities to ask for help finding a suspect from China’s Xinjiang region, considered as “mastermind” of the bombing. The mastermind, Abu Dustar Abdulrahman, also known as “Izan,” was identified by Thai police on Wednesday.
Abu Dustar Abdulrahman arrived in Bangladesh a day before the attack and left for China two weeks later. Bangladeshi police said that the suspect, planned the intricate details of the attack and fled a day before the blast, he stayed for two weeks in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, and flew to Beijing on Aug. 30.
National police spokesman Prawut Thawornsiri said Bangladeshi Ambassador to Thailand, Saida Muna Tasneem told him on Friday in a meeting that Izan left Bangladesh and travelled through India but she did not know where he would go.
Bangladesh’s embassy in Bangkok released a statement on Friday, saying thay they would work closely with Thailand to investigate the mastermind’s actions during he was in Bangladesh and share all relevant information they reach with Thai authorities and international agencies.
“Law enforcement agencies in Bangladesh are currently investigating the case and will share all relevant information with Thai authorities and all other concerned countries and agencies including Interpol,” it said.
Thai police believe that international militants are responsible for the attack. Prawut said on Friday it may be a revenge act of a people smuggling network who lost money after recent crackdown, for which human traffickers were arrested after the discovery of over 30 corpses of Rohingya in jungle camps.
Thai police have so far arrested two suspects, identified as Adem Karadag (28) and Yusufu Mieraili (25). Both are now in detention at Min Buri prison.
The deadly blast occured on Aug. 17 at Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, killing 20 people and injuring more than 130 others.