BANGKOK — Seven gallons of “suspicious materials” police confiscated from a house in a Bangkok suburb yesterday were drug precursors and not bomb components.
Following a lead, investigators raided the residence in Soi Ratcha Uthit 34, near to where an apparent bomb-making operation was discovered Saturday, where they found seven gallon containers (26.5 liters) of chemicals they initially suspected to be for building bombs.
But government spokesman Col. Winthai Suvaree said today in his televised noon update on the investigation that the materials were in fact chemicals for cooking drugs. Authorities later confirmed the materials were used for preparing ketamine.
“Nevertheless, security officers will continue to investigate the circumstances,” Winthai said.
Investigators said they raided the residence after receiving a report it was connected to the network suspected of being behind the bombing in central Bangkok that killed 20 people on 17 Aug.
After saying yesterday the house had been rented by Wanna Suansan, a Muslim Thai woman among nine suspects sought in connection with the 17 Aug. bombing, Police Lt. Gen. Prawuth Thawornsiri today that he was mistaken. Wanna had been reportedly been seen visiting the residence, he said.
The house, located in the capital’s Min Buri district, is not from from the Maimuna Garden Home where police said they found extensive bomb components and chemicals in a room rented by Wanna, her Turkish husband Emrah Davutoglu and an unidentified man. Warrants have been issued for the arrest of all three on a charge of possessing “war materials.”
Wanna and her husband left the country on 1 July, six weeks prior to the bombing. Wanna has reportedly denied any involvement in the plot and said she would return to Thailand to clear her name. She and Davutoglu are currently in Turkey.
UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect the police spokesman's correction of his statement that Wanna Suansan rented the home raided.
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