Among the suspects was 46-year-old Lt Yutthana Chidchol of the Sakoo Police, based near Phuket International Airport, reported NCPO judge advocate Burin Thongprapai.
Also among those arrested was 55-year-old Boonlert Nanphimai, a wanted suspect in Thanyaburi District, Pathum Thani.
Lt Yutthana was named as a suspect during a raid on Sunday (April 29), when police accompanied by soldiers found bomb-making materials hidden at a home in Cherng Talay. (See story here.)
The two men’s arrest follows the discovery of 1,800 bars of Powergel in cardboard boxes on the back of a pickup truck in Thanyaburi, after police stopped it for a search on April 26.
The water-resistant, bar-like product is normally used in the mining industry for quarry blasting, tunnelling and excavation. Powergel usually becomes volatile when mixed with a precursor, such as fuel oil.
Ammonium nitrate fertiliser and more Powergel were later found during a search of Lt Yutthana’s house in Phuket, according to police reports.
Investigations into whether the explosives could be linked with the insurgency in the Deep South are currently being carried out, the reports added.
Other suspects handed over yesterday included Nattachai Thanapatsatchaporn, 57, Channetti Thanapatsatchaporn, 55, and 47-year-old Sophon Termpanthunont.
Special Branch Police Deputy Commissioner Maj Gen Chayapol Chatchaidet said two other suspects were arrested at the time of the initial discovery in the pickup truck last month.
They were identified as Chayapong Kaew-in, 37 and Premwadee Boonchalee, 33.
According to Gen Chayapol, Chayapong told police that a 43-year-old engineer named Kitti Sarisil had hired him to deliver the Powergel.
Special Branch later confirmed that Kitti had been arrested after police found several fuses and explosives during a search of a factory in Kaeng Khoi District, Saraburi.
Read original story here.