Thai Police Award Themselves 3 Million Baht For Arrest Of Bomb Suspect

August 31, 2015 – Police investigating a bomb blast at a shrine in Bangkok have given themselves a reward of three million baht , as they issued arrest warrants for two more suspects.

Images of a Thai woman and a foreign man of unknown nationality have been released as part of the widening investigation into the blast two weeks ago that left 20 people, most of them foreigners, dead.

The woman has been named as 26-year-old Wanna Suansun, while the man has been named as Jusuf, although police have been unable to provide a surname or a precise spelling for his first name.

Relatives of the woman reportedly said they believed she was in Turkey.

National police spokesman Prawuth Thavornsiri said he was certain the pair were part of a group police say were responsible for the 17 August explosion at the Erawan Shrine.

During a televised statement, Mr Prawuth showed a photograph of the woman’s Thai identification card showing a young woman wearing a black headscarf, and a sketch of the man.

He added police were asking for more arrest warrants to be issued.

It comes as national police chief Somyout Poompanmoung announced he was giving the reward, which was initially offered to the public for information leading to the arrest of suspects, to his officers.

Mr Poompanmoung said he was redirecting the money to motivate them and to demonstrate that the country’s police are good at their job.

It was not immediately clear how the money, which was brought out in stacks at a news conference by Mr Poompanmoung’s aides, would be distributed.

Over the weekend police arrested Adem Karadag, who they say is another suspect.

He was held at an apartment on the outskirts of Bangkok on Saturday.

Police also said they seized bombmaking equipment including detonators, ball bearings and a metal pipe thought to be a bomb casing.

But despite the police’s confidence, questions remain. The man’s name, nationality, motive and his suspected relationship to the bombing network have not been revealed.

Mr Prawuth said yesterday police were working with “a number of embassies” and interpreters to try to find out where the man is from, adding he does not speak Thai but does know some English.

More bombmaking material was found in a second apartment during a raid in a nearby neighbourhood on Sunday, according to Mr Prawuth.

The second apartment, in a neighbourhood known as Min Buri, was rented by Suansun, according to Mr Prawuth.

He added the woman has a house registration in the province of Phang Nga, and that she is also known by the name Mai Saloh.

Mr Prawuth said that in the second apartment police found “important bomb-making materials such as gunpowder, urea-based fertiliser which can be used as explosive powder when mixed with other substances, a remote-controlled car with its controller which can be used as a detonator, nuts and bolts, small light bulbs and digital watches?.

The arrest warrants for the pair say they are being sought on a charge of conspiracy to possess unauthorised war material, a reference to the gunpowder.

Police believe the man, who is shown in a sketch with short brown hair and a light beard and moustache, lived in the apartment.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the bombing.

Police have suggested the suspects were part of a gang of people smugglers who had a grievance against the authorities.