Police say they have proof suspect is responsible for Bangkok bombing


Thai police on Friday claimed they have evidence that a detained suspect is the man responsible for last month’s bombing in Bangkok.

The head of Metropolitan Police, Srivara Rangsi-prammanaku, told reporters late Friday that Bilal Muhammed, currently in police custody, is the man that planted the device that killed 20 people on August 17.

Srivara said that investigative teams had uncovered evidence that confirmed Muhammed was the bomber and that police were currently filing the charges with a local court.

Media reports on Thursday, quoting unnamed sources, said that Muhammed had confessed to police and detailed his path to the bomb site.

Choochart Khanphai, Muhammed’s lawyer, said he could not confirm the new revelations by police as he had not been given access to his client since Wednesday.

Choochart claimed that Muhammed was sick in hospital on Wednesday and was interrogated all night by police officers.

“Something doesn’t add up,” he said.

Choochart maintains that, to his knowledge, Muhammed was not in the country at the time of the attack on August 17.

“My client, a Turkish citizen, maintains that he came into the country on the 21st of August, which is after the bombing,” Choochart told dpa by phone.

Muhammed travelled to Thailand on a fake passport, hoping to continue to Malaysia in search of work, Choochart said.

Muhammed was arrested on August 29 at an apartment in Bangkok, where police say they also found bomb-making materials.

Police Chief Somyot Poompanmoung said earlier on Friday that he personally believed Bilal to be the bomber, but police needed more evidence.

The bombing at the Erawan Shrine killed 20 people, mostly foreign tourists, and injured over 100 others.

Police investigations have focussed on a people-smuggling ring that trafficked Uighur refugees from China to Turkey, using Thailand as a transit point.

However, information from police and government representatives during the investigation has been criticized for apparent inconsistencies, in particular regarding the motive for the attack.