By Pares Lohasan
POLICE in Pattani seized smuggled cigarettes worth Bt3.3 million from a rubber plantation in tambon Tha Kamcham of in Nong Chik district yesterday afternoon.
The 8,932 packs of smuggled cigarettes reportedly belonged to Maruding Binkasem and Kode Thor, who allegedly helped to fund militants led by Seri Taemamu and Russalan Baima.
These alleged militants have been linked to the bombing on the rail line in Pattani’s Khok Pho district late on Saturday, which killed one railway official and injured three others, as well as causing severe damage to the rear carriage of a local train. Pattani police chief Pol Maj-General Thanogsak Wangsupha has said that Seri’s group may have been responsible for the attack.
It was reported that the cigarette-smuggling group was arrested for a similar offence last year and that time it led to the authorities discovering an insurgent base in Nong Chik, where explosives were seized and bomber suspect Sabali Jehali was arrested.
Seri and Russalan were allegedly bomb experts wanted for many national security cases. Warrants seeking their arrest allege they were also involved in the Lee Gardens Hotel bombing in Hat Yai in August 2012, the Samui shopping mall bombing in Surat Thani in April last year and bombs in Hua Hin on August 12.