11 July 2024

A man suspected of throwing hand-grenades into the anti-Yingluck government protests at the Victory Monument and on Banthadthong road in January 2014 was arrested this week by police and the military at a Thai-Cambodian border crossing.

The arrest of the suspected bomber, identified as Krisda Chaikae, 47, a resident of the western province of Kanchanaburi, was the result of joint cooperation between Thai and Cambodian police, said Pol Lt-Gen Surachet Hakparn, commissioner of Immigration Bureau, on Friday.

He said a Thai police team went to Phnom Penh to see Lt-Gen Sam Vanvera, the assistant police chief of Cambodia, to seek his cooperation to track down Krisda after it was confirmed that he was hiding in Cambodia after the two grenade attacks in January 2014.

He said that the suspect could not stand the pressure of the manhunt launched by the Cambodian police and decided to slip back to Thailand and was arrested at a border crossing in the eastern province of Sa Kaeo.

Krisda reportedly confessed to the police during the interrogation that he was responsible for the two grenade attacks – one at the Victory Monument and the second at a procession of protesters led by Suthep Thuagsuban, the PDRC leader, as it was moving on the Banthadthong road near the National Stadium.

The suspect also claimed he was afraid to be “silenced” by the others because he had a 700,000 bounty on him, said Pol Lt-Gen Surachet, adding that he had already reported the suspect’s arrest to Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan who is in charge of security affairs.

A hand-grenade of the GRD5 type was lobbed into a crowd of protesters in broad daylight at the Victory Monument on January 19, injuring altogether 29 protesters, including a reporter.

A CCTV camera at a coffee shop near the site of the explosion captured the image of the unidentified bomb thrower, wearing a black baseball cap and carrying a black shoulder bag. On the following day, the Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest as the police request, although the police then had no idea of his identity.

Similar type of hand-grenade was also used in the attack in the Banthadthong incident in which one protester was killed and 38 others injured.