Iranian suspect in Sukhumvit bomb incident questioned


BANGKOK, Feb 20 – Thai police on Monday took bomb suspect Mohammad Hazaei, an Iranian, to the Metropolitan Police Bureau for questioning and formally charged him of involvement in the Bangkok Valentine’s Day blasts.

Mr Hazaei who was apprehended at Suvarnabhumi Airport last Tuesday while attempting to board a plane bound for Malaysia, was taken for questioning for the first time at the Metropolitan Police Bureau this morning.

Deputy Metropolitan Police Chief Pol Gen Pansiri Prapawat as head of the investigation team formally notified him of joint charges, with the other suspects, including assembling explosive devices, possessing explosive devices without a permit, and causing an explosion injuring other persons and property.

Deputy National Police Chief Pol Lt Gen Jarumporn Suramanee said the DNA test showed links between the Iranian detainee and evidence such as clothes, hats and shoes collected from the rented house in Sukhumvit 71.

Gen Jarumporn, however, said the DNA test to find connection with another suspect Saeid Moradi, who lost both legs by accident from his own explosive device and is now hospitalised at Chulalongkorn Hospital, has not yet been conducted.

Thailand’s Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for five Iranians on various charges related to Feb 14 Bangkok bomb incidents.

The first two suspects were Saeid Moradi, 28, and Mohammad Hazaei, 42.

A third Iranian identified as Masoud Sedaghatzadeh was arrested on Wednesday by Malaysian authorities in Kuala Lumpur. The Thai authorities are working to conclude and translate related documents to be submitted to Malaysia seeking the suspect’s extradition to Thailand for prosecution.

The fourth suspect is an Iranian national identified as Rohani Leila. She reportedly rented the house for the group and returned to Iranian capital of Tehran several days before the explosions.

The fifth suspect was a Middle Eastern man who may have been involved in the blasts after CCTV camera images showed him walking from the rented house where the first explosion took place, apparently by accident.