Pol Lt Gen Srivara Rangsiprammakul, the Bangkok police chief, led a team of police and soldiers to search rooms 412 and 414 on the second floor of an apartment building in Soi Chuam Samphan 11 on Saturday (August 29) after receiving a tip-off that a man who looked like the suspect was staying there.
Thai newspaper Thai Rath reported that about 100 police and soldiers were involved in the operation and they surrounded the apartment building before moving in.
The online news report named the suspect as Adem Karadag, 29, from Istanbul.
Police said the officers found a lot of equipment and bomb parts in the rooms, including 0.5cm ball bearings, the same as the type used in the Aug 17 attack on the Erawan shrine and the attempted bombing at the Sathon Pier the same day.
The explosion at the Erawan Shrine in central Bangkok killed 20 people, including Chinese tourists and Thais, and injured more than 100.
ThaiPBS reported that the suspect first rented room 412 on July 21.
Local media reports said the Turkish passport held by the man appeared to be a fake. Police have scheduled a news conference for 6pm Saturday.
National police chief Gen Somyot Poompanmuang was at the scene on Saturday afternoon and officers were questioning the man at the apartment.
Pol Gen Somyot said plainclothes police and volunteers with language skills had been sent to mingle with foreign tourists at places frequented by the suspects and near their accommodations over the past few days.
The information led officers to believe that several people including Thais were involved, Post Today quoted him as saying.
Police have come under heavy pressure for the lack of progress in their investigation of the attack that shocked the country, and numerous theories have been advanced about the perpetrators.
On Friday (August 28) Pol Gen Somyot warned against assumptions that the attack might be linked to the country’s deportation of Uighur Muslims to China last month.
He made the comment after confirming that three Uighurs, among dozens detained for illegal entry last year, had been questioned in Sa Kaeo province.
Speculation has mounted after an analyst from IHS-Jane’s, a defence analysis company, raised the possibility of the involvement of the Grey Wolves, a Turkish militant group, said to have been angered by the deportation of 109 Uighur people to China.
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