Two Pathum Thani residents detained for participating in Aug 10 rally
Two men who reportedly took part in an anti-government protest at Victory Monument in Bangkok on August 10 were tracked down to a hideout in Pathum Thani on Friday.
“Police linked the suspects to four locations in Pathum Thani and also found 75 ping pong bombs and more than 200,000 firecrackers and flares hidden in these houses,” deputy Metropolitan Police chief Pol Maj-General Piya Tawichai said.
Pro-democracy groups had gathered at Victory Monument last Tuesday to march to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s house and demand his resignation.
However, they encountered crowd-control police at the Din Daeng junction, which sparked a clash between the two sides. Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon to push the crowds back towards Victory Monument. After protesters dispersed, a traffic booth at the junction was set ablaze and investigators reportedly found many ping pong bombs in the area.
Prawit Thiboonbun was arrested in Samut Prakan on Thursday for allegedly setting fire to the traffic booth and has been charged with arson, damaging government property and violating the Emergency Decree.
Meanwhile, the two suspects arrested in Pathum Thani allegedly confessed to participating in several anti-government rallies in July and August. They were charged with violating the Emergency Decree, which bans public gatherings of more than five people, as well as other violations.
Piya added that a manhunt has been launched for three other men who were photographed at Victory Monument on August 10, with one of them holding what appears to be a gun. “At this point, we cannot confirm if what he is holding is a gun or a fake firearm,” Piya said.