Erawan Shrine bomb suspect arrested: PM

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Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced yesterday that the key suspect for the August 17 Erawan Shrine bombing has been arrested.

Prayut said the suspect was arrested in Sa Kaew province, adding that he was not Thai and that police are checking the man’s nationality. He said the Turkish embassy has been informed of the arrest and that the suspect has been brought to Bangkok for questioning.

Nation TV reported that the suspect resembled the man in a yellow T-shirt, who was captured on CCTV leaving a backpack under a bench in the shrine compound. The backpack exploded minutes later, killing 20 people and injuring hundreds of others.

Police spotted the suspect when he was trying to sneak across the border into Cambodia from Aranyaprathet, Burapha Taskforce chief Maj-General Srisak Poonprasit said. The suspect had a black backpack, in which he was found to be carrying clothes similar to the ones the suspected bomber was seen wearing on the day of the attack.

Erawan Shrine 25-8
Source: The Nation

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Thai Government moves to head off tourist fears

Thai Army
Lack of equipment retards blast probe

The government is vowing to ratchet up patrols to provide security and is moving to assure foreigners that travel to Thailand is safe.

The regime is preparing to issue a statement to the international community today, even as police admit their probe into the Erawan shrine blast has been retarded by a lack of modern equipment.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has assigned authorities to release the statement, said government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd.

Bomb probe slows: Police chief blames inferior equipment.

According to the statement as read to the foreign media on Sunday by Maj Gen Sansern, “You will be safe during your stay in Thailand and you will also experience friendliness, smiles and kindness that we always provide.”

The blast at the Erawan shrine in the Ratchaprasong area last Monday killed 20 people and wounded 130. Fourteen of the dead and many of the wounded were foreigners.

Another bomb went off at the Sathon pier on the following day, but no one was harmed.

“The government wants to assure everyone the situation is under control,” the statement says.

“There will be reinforcement of both uniformed and plain clothes officers providing security in every spot to ensure optimum safety.”

The administration is also relaying a message to foreigners planning to visit Thailand, saying: “The government wants all of you have confidence that you will be safe during your stay in Thailand.”

The statement will be translated by the Foreign Ministry and distributed to Thai embassies overseas, said Maj Gen Sansern. It comes after 23 countries and territories last week issued advisories about travel to Thailand.

Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said she was concerned about tourism prospects for the rest of the year following the blast.

Tourism is seen as the only growth engine boosting the Thai economy at a time of slumping exports. Last year, it contributed 16% of the country’s GDP of 12 trillion baht.

Speaking on TV Sunday, National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) spokesman Col Winthai Suvaree said the Royal Thai Police Office reported the investigation was making “modest” progress.

He said the relatives of 14 foreigners and two Thais, killed in the shrine explosion, had received financial assistance from the Justice Ministry and the Tourism and Sports Ministry.

A total of 100 requests for financial assistance have been lodged and the government will speed up payments, Col Winthai said. Fifty-two people remained in hospital Sunday, he added.

DUTCH:

Bomaanslag Bangkok: Thaise overheid komt met verklaring om toeristen gerust te stellen

‘Toeristen zijn veilig in Thailand’, dat is in het kort de verklaring die de Thaise overheid heeft opgesteld om buitenlandse toeristen gerust te stellen.

De regering heeft een verklaring opgesteld, die vertaald zal worden en via de Thaise ambassades in het buitenland zal worden verspreid. daarin laat de regering weten dat de situatie onder controle is. Er komen meer politieagenten zowel in uniform als in burger die voor bewaking en veiligheid zullen zorgen (zie foto). De verklaring komt nadat 23 landen hun reisadviezen voor Thailand hadden aangescherpt.

De regering maakt zich zorgen om het toerisme die goed is voor 16 procent van Thailand’s bruto binnenlands product en als enige sector in de economie wel groeide. 

NCPO-woordvoerder Winthai laat weten dat de politie een bescheiden voortgang boekt in het onderzoek naar de daders van de twee aanslagen in Bangkok. De nabestaanden van 14 omgekomen buitenlanders en twee Thais hebben van de overheid een financiële tegemoetkoming ontvangen. In totaal zijn 100 verzoeken om financiële hulp gedaan. In het ziekenhuis liggen nog 52 slachtoffers.

Politiecommissaris Somyot zegt dat de politie de politie groep van verdachten kent. Hij wil niet zeggen of het buitenlanders of Thais zijn. De trage voortgang van het onderzoek is volgens hem de oorzaak van verouderde apparatuur. Hulp van andere landen bij het onderzoek wil hij niet.

Bron: Bangkok Post – http://goo.gl/Ertcqg

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