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Police arrest two more over grenade attacks on rallies

POLICE presented two more suspects at a press conference yesterday, who according to deputy national police chief Pol General Somyos Phumphunmuang, were arrested for alleged links to grenade attacks against protesters on Bangkok's Banthat Thong Road and Victory Monument.

Chareon Phromchat, 38, and Natthapan Bangla, 40, were arrested on Monday after being named by suspect Apichat Poungphetch, 42, who was arrested earlier. Apichat reportedly confessed that he gave RGD-5 hand-grenades to the two suspects, as well as to the Krissada Chaikhae, who is still on the run, Somyos said.

While Charoen denied any wrongdoing, Natthapan reportedly admitted that he was given the four grenades, but claimed he did not use them, Somyos said. Police have launched a manhunt for Krissada who was accused of lobbing one grenade at protesters in Banthat Thong and two at a rally near Victory Monument.

Meanwhile, National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvari told the press yesterday the National Peacekeeping Forces' month-long crackdown on illegal weapons, which began on June 26, were linked to 2,779 suspects. Twelve of the suspects are believed to be behind eight attacks.

The force has also seized 30 rifles, 688 shotguns, 911 pistols, 9,295 rounds of ammunition, 45 hand grenades, 19 launching grenades and 108 gun parts.

In a separate campaign from June 22-July 25, the force arrested 22,752 people for gambling in 12,872 cases along with 4,043 slot machines and a large number of gambling tools.

It also seized 4,197 cubic metres of Siamese Rosewood worth some Bt630 million, 580 cubic metres of teak worth about Bt15.9 million and 1,904 cubic metres of other hardwood worth Bt29.4 million in 987 illegal timber trade cases. The force also arrested 70,635 drug suspects in 66,657 cases along with 83.2 million yaba pills, 1,125kg of "ice", 369kg of heroin and some 22.6 tonnes of marijuana.




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