Thai security officers have nabbed three Burmese nationals in Mae Sot district, on Thailand’s border with Burma, for alleged links to human trafficking and the deadly bomb blast at Bangkok’s Erawan shrine last year.
Authorities yesterday raided a building in central Mae Sot occupied by two women and one man, following a tip-off the large commercial building was being used as a hideout for criminals.
It is believed the occupants were involved in human trafficking and were possibly linked with the plot behind the bombing at the Erawan shrine near Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok, which killed 20 and injured 125 people on 17 August last year.
A combined team of immigration police and soldiers raided the building yesterday and sealed off the area.
The two women, identified as Ramzanbe and Rahelarbe, and the man, named Kyaw Thi Ha, were later seen escorted out of the building and taken into a van.
The vehicle carried them to the 346th Border Police Company in Mae Sot district.
The officers did not reveal details of the three suspects, whom they questioned for about three hours.
Ramzanbe, 32, and Rahelarbe, 23, faced initial charges of entry into Thailand without permission.
Kyaw Thi Ha is accused of providing a hideout to illegal immigrants.
The three were helping the police with their inquiries, officers said.
Authorities are expanding their probe into the case by taking Kyaw Thi Ha for further interrogation in Bangkok.
They suspect the man may have connections with a terrorist network and a passport forgery gang. They did not spell out in more precise terms how he might have been involved.
Fake passports are among evidence which police investigators earlier found during their search for suspects behind the Ratchaprasong bombing last year.
Police found fake passports at an apartment in Bangkok last year where one suspect was arrested.
So far two ethnic Uighur Muslims from China have been implicated in the case.
Bilal Mohammed, also known as Adem Karadag, and his fellow suspect Yusufu Mieraili are being held at a military court in Bangkok. They denied accusations that they had roles in the bombing.