The 17 people for whom police sought arrest warrants were involved in long-standing disorder activities against the NCPO and the government and they were the only group of people behind such activities, Gen Prawit said today (Aug 19).
Authorities’ action against the suspects had continued for a long period and had nothing to do with multiple bombings and arsons in seven southern and central provinces late last week, he said.
According to earlier reports, the 17 consisted of 13 men and four women. Six of them were anti-coup movement leaders and three of them were police officers. They had been recently detained at the 11th Military Circle in Bangkok and two were later freed.
Called by soldiers “hardcore red”, the group was active in Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani provinces and coordinated by masterminds who were influential politicians in southern border provinces and southern separatists who made and planted bombs in the seven provinces.
The group had a nationwide network, except in the lower South.
The “hardcore red” does not refer to the Red Shirts or the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship.
The military brought 15 of the suspects to the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok on Friday (Aug 19) to seek their longer detention.
There Pol Maj Gen Chayaphol Chatchaidej, criminal planning commander of the Royal Thai Police Office, said the people had founded their Revolutionary Front for Democracy Party last year but based their anti-government ideas on communism. They had had meetings in Ang Tong, Nonthaburi, Phatthalung and Suphanburi provinces, he said.
Although their arrests followed the series of bombings and arsons late last week, authorities had not found any connection between the group and the incidents yet, Pol Maj Gen Chayaphol said.
Investigators would find out if the group was linked with any other political group or party, he said.
The 17 suspects were charged with illegal political gatherings and illegal secret organisation. They were identified as
Pol Sen Sgt Maj Sirirat Manorat, 71, from Phatthalung
Mr Weerachat Chansaard, 62, from Nonthaburi
Mr Prapas Rojanapithak, 67, from Trang
Mr Pramote Sangharn, 63, from Satun
Mr Sorasak Ditpreecha, 49, from Bangkok
Ms Meena Saengsri, 39, from Bangkok
Mr Siritharoj Chinda, 56, from Nong Khai
Pol Sub-Lt Wilaiwan Khoonsawat, 54, from Nong Khai (at large)
Pol Lt Samai Khoonsawat, 57, from Nong Khai (at large)
Mr Chinnaworn Thipnual, 71, from Chiang Rai
Mr Boonphob Wiangsamut, 61, from Chiang Rai
Mr Narong Phadungsak, 60, from Ang Thong
Mr Sorawat Kurajinda, 60, from Maha Sarakham
Mr Nuaphrai Senklang, 41, n/a
Ms Rujiya Saosomphob, 52, from Roi Et
Mr Wichian Chiamsawat, 59, from Nakhon Sri Thammarat
Wiroj Yodcharoen,67, from Nakhon Sri Thammarat