As the military government concedes that the Erawan Shrine bombing two weeks ago might have been related to human trafficking and the recent deportation of 109 Uighur Muslims to China, two more arrest warrants have been issued in the case – one for a Thai woman, the other one for an unidentified foreign man of unknown nationality.
The first arrest warrant is for a 26-year-old Thai Muslim woman identified as Wanna Suansant. She rented a room at the Maimuna Garden Home, a budget apartment building in Bangkok’s eastern Minburi district, where police on Sunday found fertilizer and other bomb-making material. The Bangkok Post reports:
When police searched the room on Sunday they found urea-based fertiliser, a radio-controlled toy vehicle of which components could be used to detonate a bomb remotely, bolts that could be used as shrapnel, and decorative lights that could be used for ignition.
The second arrest warrant is for an unidentified foreign man of unknown nationality who was living in the room rented by the Thai suspect until recently. According to Khaosod English, “investigators believe both were staying’ at the apartment.
Both suspects are connected to the unidentified foreign man who was arrested at another apartment complex on the eastern outskirts of Bangkok Saturday and who is a key suspect in the shrine bombing.
His identity and nationality have still not been confirmed, and it remains unclear if he is the man in the yellow T-shirt seen on CCTV dump a backpack at the blast scene minutes before the detonation.
UPDATE – The woman suspect reportedly left Thailand sometime before the attack and has allegedly been located in Turkey now. The Nation reports:
The wanted woman left Thailand on July 1 from Phuket airport for Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, according to a police source. Video footage showed her with a man who looks like the man in the police sketch. However, there is no immigration record of him leaving Thailand.
The Bangkok Post has a few more details:
Reporters for the AFP news agency tracked down the number for Wanna and a woman answering that name took the phone call late Monday, saying she was living in the town of Kayseri in Turkey with her husband whose nationality she did not state. (…)
Mrs Wanna, a Thai-speaking Muslim from southern Phang Nga province, said she was horrified when friends in Thailand told her that a photograph from her identity card had been circulated to the Thai public.
“I was very shocked and thought my friend was joking with me,” she said.
“I have not been to that apartment for almost one year now … I rented it and then my husband’s friend stayed. I don’t know how many people stayed there.”
“I have been here (Turkey) for around three months,” she said (…)
According to an unnamed police source quoted by the Bangkok Post, however, police are “not convinced” that the woman has actually left the country as “witnesses at the apartment said Ms Wanna and the man from the identikit sketch were seen at the apartment between Aug 10-20.” Investigators reportedly also “discovered that Ms Wanna has a Turkish husband.”