Three more Iranian arrests over Bangkok bombings

Three people detained in same apartment building as suspect linked to house that blew up earlier this month

Thai authorities have detained three more Iranians over the 14 February Bangkok blasts after tracking down a mobile phone number that was in regular contact on the day of the bombings with two suspects currently in police custody.

National police spokesman Major General Piya Uthayo said police found two men and one woman on Sunday after raiding an apartment in the Nasa Vegas Tower, the same building where another suspect in the case – Leila Rohani – lived before returning to Tehran. Rohani is alleged to have rented the house in Ekkamai that was occupied by three Iranian men. A cache of explosives there went off by accident on Valentine’s Day.

One of those detained on Monday was Madani Seyed Mehrded, 33, who was tracked down from mobile phone records. Police say he was in regular contact on the day of the bombings with Saied Moradi, 28, the Iranian national who blew off his own legs after attempting to throw an explosive at police, and Muhammad Khazaei, 42, who was caught trying to board a flight at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport.

While it is unclear what exactly his role or exact involvement was in the case, Mehrded was allegedly waiting for the other suspects in front of the Israeli embassy on the day of the explosions, the Bangkok Post reported. 

Police say Mehrded entered Thailand on 27 July 2011 and has overstayed his visa by nearly five months. He is said to have rarely left his room at the Nasa Vegas Tower and to have depended on food deliveries from another Iranian, chef Rahimi Rad Iraj, according to local media. Iraj and his wife were questioned by police on Monday. 

Another suspect remains at large. He is described as a middle-aged Middle Eastern man thought to be an explosives specialist who was training the Iranians in Ekkamai. He was taped on CCTV leaving their shared house hours before it exploded on 14 February.

The third man who lived in the Ekkamai house is awaiting extradition to Thailand after allegedly fleeing to Malaysia after the explosions. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

from Kate Hodal


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