KHON KAEN — The police claim they have arrested another member of the underground group that allegedly planned to stage terror attacks in opposition to the military regime.
The suspect, Noppadol Petchmadan, 42, was arrested at his residence in Nakhon Ratchasima province, said Pol.Lt.Gen. Detnarong Sutthichanbancha at a press conference today.
According to police, the search of his home turned up one carbine rifle, one AK-47 rifle, one Thompson sub-machine gun, two Messen sub-machine guns, one M79 grenade launcher, two M-16 rifles, one A-16 machine gun, six frag grenades, one blank grenade, three bulletproof jackets, six mortars, six silencers, and 25 ammo boxes containing bullets for a variety of handgun and rifle types.
Pol.Lt.Gen. Detnarong said the suspect was a former soldier who had been conspiring with members of the Northeast-based clandestine group known as the "Khon Kaen Model."
The group was "discovered" by security officers almost immediately after the military staged the coup on 22 May. According to the military junta's National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), the network was planning to stage terror attacks against security forces in Khon Kaen and incite further unrest in other northeastern provinces.
The northeastern region of Thailand has come under particularly harsh scrutiny from the military regime in recent weeks because of its reputation as the major stronghold of the Redshirt movement, which is allied to the previous government.
Scores of activists and local politicians have been summoned and detained for several days at military camps, prompting many Redshirt sympathisers to live under fear of political persecution.
At a press conference in Khon Kaen this morning, Pol.Lt.Gen. Detnarong said the military will detain the latest suspect of the "Khon Kaen Model" for seven days to interrogate him about the source of the weapons in his possession.
Afterwards, Mr. Noppadol will be transferred to the custody of Khon Kaen police for legal prosecution, the officer said.
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