Tuesday 12 December 2017

Thai police award themselves €74k in Bangkok bombing appeal

This image released Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) shows a sketch of an unidentified man who police say was living in the second apartment which was raided by authorities in Min Buri, in Bangkok's outskirts, and where police found fertilizer, gun powder, digital clocks and remote-controlled cars whose parts can be used for detonation. (National Council for Peace and Order via AP)
This image released Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) shows a sketch of an unidentified man who police say was living in the second apartment which was raided by authorities in Min Buri, in Bangkok's outskirts, and where police found fertilizer, gun powder, digital clocks and remote-controlled cars whose parts can be used for detonation. (National Council for Peace and Order via AP)
This image released Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) shows what police said is evidence found at the second apartment which was raided by authorities in Min Buri, in Bangkok's outskirts. (National Council for Peace and Order via AP)
This image released Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) shows what police said is evidence found at the second apartment which was raided by authorities in Min Buri, in Bangkok's outskirts. (National Council for Peace and Order via AP)
Items found during a search of a property in the Min Buri district are shown in this Thai Royal Police handout released August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Thai Police/Handout via Reuters
Nuts and bolts found during a search of a property in the Min Buri district are shown in this Thai Royal Police handout released August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Thai Police/Handout via Reuters
This image released Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) shows Wanna Suansun who police said is renting the second apartment which was raided by authorities in Min Buri, in Bangkok's outskirts, and where police found fertilizer, gun powder, digital clocks and remote-controlled cars whose parts can be used for detonation. (National Council for Peace and Order via AP)
This image released Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) shows what police said is evidence found at the second apartment which was raided by authorities in Min Buri, in Bangkok's outskirts. (National Council for Peace and Order via AP)
Items found during a search of a property in the Min Buri district are shown in this Thai Royal Police handout released August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Thai Police/Handout via Reuters
A watch found during a search of a property in the Min Buri district is shown in this Thai Royal Police handout released August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Thai Police/Handout via Reuters
This image released Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) shows what police said is evidence found at the second apartment which was raided by authorities in Min Buri, in Bangkok's outskirts. (National Council for Peace and Order via AP)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Thai police have awarded themselves a three million baht (£54,500/ €74,070) reward for making an arrest in the Bangkok bombing investigation.

The reward was originally offered to the public for tips leading to the arrest of suspects, but national police chief Somyot Poompanmoung said he was taking the unusual step of redirecting the cash to highlight that Thailand's police are good at their job.

This image released Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) shows what police said is evidence found at the second apartment which was raided by authorities in Min Buri, in Bangkok's outskirts. (National Council for Peace and Order via AP)
This image released Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) shows what police said is evidence found at the second apartment which was raided by authorities in Min Buri, in Bangkok's outskirts. (National Council for Peace and Order via AP)

The decision added to criticism over police handling of the investigation into the August 17 bombing at Bangkok's Erawan Shrine, which killed 20 people and injured more than 120.

Somyot made the announcement at a news conference, saying he had "good news".

Items found during a search of a property in the Min Buri district are shown in this Thai Royal Police handout released August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Thai Police/Handout via Reuters
Items found during a search of a property in the Min Buri district are shown in this Thai Royal Police handout released August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Thai Police/Handout via Reuters

"Give me the bag," he said, turning to an aide who handed over stacks of cash.

"This is real money," the police chief said. He added that Saturday's arrest was thanks to "good police work" and had not come from any outside tips.

This image released Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) shows Wanna Suansun who police said is renting the second apartment which was raided by authorities in Min Buri, in Bangkok's outskirts, and where police found fertilizer, gun powder, digital clocks and remote-controlled cars whose parts can be used for detonation. (National Council for Peace and Order via AP)
This image released Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) shows Wanna Suansun who police said is renting the second apartment which was raided by authorities in Min Buri, in Bangkok's outskirts, and where police found fertilizer, gun powder, digital clocks and remote-controlled cars whose parts can be used for detonation. (National Council for Peace and Order via AP)

"It is the ability of Thai officials that led to the arrest," he said. "This money should be given to officials who did their job."

Within days of the blast, Somyot said he was offering a one million baht (£18,000) reward to help find the perpetrators. The sum tripled after he said two of his friends who wished to remain nameless had chipped in two million baht more.

Police made a potential breakthrough on Saturday when they arrested a man in the outskirts of Bangkok and found bomb-making material including detonators, ball bearings and a metal pipe at his apartment.

They found more bomb-making materials on Sunday in a raid on another apartment in a nearby neighbourhood, and today released images of two more suspects: a photo of a Thai woman and a sketch of a foreign man of unknown nationality.

Press Association

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