Theory of Bangkok bombing suspect changing bag in Hua Lumphong backed

Theory of Bangkok bombing suspect changing bag in Hua Lumphong backed
Police believe they now have another jigsaw piece in the ongoing investigation into the Erawan Shrine bomb blast.
PHOTO: The Nation/ANN

According to an informed source, a taxi driver has confirmed picking up the suspected bomber from in front of the Charn Issara Tower on Rama IV Road - and dropping him off at a spot by the Phadung Krung Kasem Canal, prior to the bloody explosion.

The source said the taxi driver remembered this passenger utter "Hua Lamphong, Hua Lamphong", with a foreign accent as he got into his cab.

"He looked like a foreign tourist. He didn't say anything during the ride. It's as if he was chatting with someone with text messaging," the taxi driver said.

This witness also told police he could not remember exactly what the suspect's bag looked like during the cab ride, but clearly it was different from the bag he saw the suspect carrying at the Erawan Shrine.

The information provided by the taxi driver matched available evidence, which appears to show that the suspect hailed a tuk-tuk from in front of Hua Lamphong Station to the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel near the Ratchaprasong intersection that same day.

"Now, it's clear the suspect must have exchanged his bag with another person in the Hua Lamphong area," a source said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed authorities to provide the same assistance to all people affected by the bomb blast.

The incident killed 20 people and injured more than 100 others. Many of these victims were foreigners.

By Thai law, the family of each killed victim is entitled to Bt100,000 (S$3,900) in compensation. The relatives of deceased foreigners, however, are also entitled to Bt300,000 compensation from the Tourism and Sports Ministry.

Following Prayut's instruction, authorities will likely try to find measures to offer more help to Thai victims.

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