Region 8 Police Chief Lt Gen Tesa Siriwato told The Phuket News by phone this morning Aug 16) that the sketch of the suspect released over the weekend was based on eye-witnesses. (See story here.)
“The sketch of the suspect that Forensic Police and Region 8 Police created was based on descriptions given by witnesses who worked in Patong that day,’ he said.
“I do not recall details of description because I was not in the room when they sketched the image. We are looking for the man in the image and will bring him in for questioning,” he added.
Gen Tesa offered no other information to help identify the suspect. No details of height, estimated age, weight, clothing or distinguishing features such as scars or tattoos were given.
Gen Tesa also gave no indication of even why the man was a suspect, and no indication of whether police were looking for any other suspects for the Patong bombs.
“Officers checked CCTV near and around the places where we discovered the bombs and where the explosions occurred,” Gen Tesa assured.
“All the CCTV cameras are working just fine, but I cannot reveal any findings to the public just yet as our investigation has yet to conclude,” he said.
Patong Police Chief Chaiwat Uikum today also assured that CCTV in Patong’s “Safety Zone”, and in along Bangla Rd, was operational.
“The CCTV on Bangla is working,” was all Col Chaiwat would say, as he explained that he was in a meeting.
Gen Tesa, who as chief of Region 8 Police, is the leading ranking officer for all police operating in upper Southern Thailand, and has personally followed up on several arrests made in connection with bomb attacks in his area of responsibility.
Gen Tesa flew to join police and army officers in Nakhon Sri Thammarat to interrogate Sakarin Karuehas for allegedly setting fire to a Tesco Lotus store in Nakhon Si Thammarat, one of seven provinces hit by bombings and arson attacks last Thursday and Friday that killed four people and injured 37.
Authorities had sufficient evidence to charge Mr Sakarin but he denied all allegations, the Daily News online reported.
Mr Sakarin was the second person to be apprehended in the wake of the violent incidents. Political activist Prapas Rojanapitak was arrested in Trang earlier for questioning in connection with arson attacks in that province, reported the Bangkok Post. (See story here.)
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has called for patience from the public following the arrests until the investigations are completed.
“Authorities are in the process of carrying out interrogations. They are looking at the evidence. So please be patient and don’t rush to a conclusion and put pressure on the government,” Gen Prayut said.