One suspect detained in Sukhumvit blasts


BANGKOK, Feb 27 — One Iranian suspect was detained on Sunday after police raided a rented room at Nasa Vegas Tower in eastern Bangkok’s Khlong Ton area, where another Iranian suspect Leila Rohani who earlier left Thailand, had also lived.

Police with a search warrant raided room number 21434 on 14th floor of the apartment and detained an Iranian, identified as Madani Seyed Mehrded, 33.

The search came after police received information that Mr Mehrded had kept mostly to his room, rarely going out, while another Iranian provided him hand-carried food and drink.

Police found no illegal items but seized a computer, a mobile phone and some other items for further inspection.

The authorities later learned that the suspect overstayed his visa in Thailand which expired on Sept 29 last year. He had entered Thailand on July 27, two months earlier.

Police said that they tracked Mr Mehrded from telephone number information found in the SIM cards of two suspects already in police custody — Saeid Moradi, 28, who lost both legs from his own explosive device, and Mohammad Hazaei, 42, arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport while attempting to board a plane bound for Malaysia.

They were detained in connection with the three Feb 14 explosions on Sukhumvit 71.

According to police, the call logs on the SIM cards showed Mr Mehrded had regularly communicated with both suspects by mobile phone.

On Feb 14, he was allegedly seen in front of the Israeli embassy on Asok Road.

Police said an Iranian working as a chef at a Soi Nana hotel supplied Mr Mehrded food and drink. The chef lived in the same apartment complex.

Investigators raided room number 21122 on the 11th floor of Nasa Vegas Tower and found him with foreign women in his room. All were taken for questioning.

Arrest warrants have so far been issued for Madani Seyed Mehrded, Saeid Moradi, Mohammad Hazaei, Leila Rohani, and Masoud Sedaghatzadeh who was arrested by Malaysian authorities in Kuala Lumpur. The Thai authorities are seeking his extradition.

The fifth suspect is a Middle Eastern man who was captured by CCTV footage walking away from the rented house where the first bomb apparently exploded by accident.