The reward was announced through a post on Prab’s personal Facebook profile, which included images of a sketch of a suspect released by police yesterday, along with the following message in Thai, translated into English by The Phuket News:
“ … Reward for the arrest ...
… 100,000 baht ...
… (one hundred thousand baht even) ...
‘Suspect or culprit of placing bombs in Patong
Report information, coordinate with Prab Keesin / fb: PRAB KEESIN
Inbox in facebook…!! Information or whereabouts or related persons”....
Sponsorship of Reward by the Pisona Group …!!!’”
Prab – the son of the late Patong mayor Pian Keesin, and a powerful private transport, entertainment and real estate kingpin – told The Phuket News that he decided to offer the reward with the aim of restoring confidence in Patong amongst residents and tourists.
“If locals cooperate and provide information and leads which result in the arrest of the suspects by authorities, it will certainly restore confidence in Patong, and it’s important that the public and locals are vigilent and assist to be the ears and eyes of their locale, and have a part in building confidence in Patong and assisting authorities in finding and prosecuting the culprits,” he said.
Meanwhile, a security guard working for Patong’s China Town Plaza (Sai Nam Yen Plaza) commented on finding one of the suspicious items that caused an initial bomb scare on August 10, days before an actual bomb was detonated, injuring one motorbike taxi driver.
Mr Kamthon Kedkaeo, a native of Krabi, explained that at about 6.40pm on August 10 he became suspicious when two male suspects abandoned a clear bag containing a strange device inside.
Mr Kamthon explained that he became suspicious when the two suspects had entered a clothing shop to purchase clothes and shortly after finishing their purchase, returned to abandon the bag before leaving again.
Upon examining the bag, and failing to identify a strange contraption inside which comprised a "phone wrapped in a cloth and connected with wires", Mr Kamthon reacted quickly, noting “I didn’t think about my life at that moment, just thought that if it was a bomb it would cause a lot of damage to life and property in that area. So I grabbed it [the bag with device] and threw it into a container [with] water and rushed it out into an open parking lot, before notifying authorities.”
An EoD unit on August 11 reported that the strange device was not a bomb, though authorities have yet to clarify exactly what it was.
When a bomb exploded on the morning of August 12, suspicions were aroused about the initial two suspects wanted for involvement in the August 10 incident.
Meanwhile, Paradise Beach, which is widely understood to be backed by the Pisona Group, is on schedule to host its next beachside Full Moon Party on August 20.
Though no cancellation has yet been announced, party revellers are advised to monitor the news regularly for updates in light of the central government ordering heightened security and survelience measures, especially in key entertainment and tourist destinations, which has resulted in a number of postponements and cancellations already.
A number of foreign embassies, including the UK US and Australia, have also advised their citizens to exercise vigilence and avoid crowded areas.
Additional Reporting by Darawan Na Nakhon