BANGKOK — An MP was placed under investigation for bringing explosive materials into Parliament on Wednesday.
Lower House Speaker Chuan Leekpai said he ordered an investigation into Mongkolkit Suksintaranont, the leader of the independent Thai Civilized Party, who brought half a pound of TNT into Parliament in order to bring attention to poor security measures.
“I’m very worried, because this means that anyone can plant a bomb without being detected,” Mongkolkit said, after he brought in the TNT and alerted the media and fellow MPs about his unusual smuggle.
Mongkolkit came with bomb disposal police. They were able to put the TNT sample in Mongkolkit’s office – located right below the chamber where parliamentary sessions convene – without being apprehended.
Mongkolkit then presented explosives trace detectors that that he claimed would have been able to detect bomb substances, and are also now being used in the Deep South.
“I don’t believe Mongkolkit intended to do harm, but we have to launch an investigation as per protocol,” Chuan said.
The Lower House Secretariat also refuted Mongkolkit’s criticism of Parliament security, saying that the machines installed at security checkpoints inside the building are capable of deterring any threat.
“I can confirm that our security measures are up to standard,” Lower House’s security officer Apirak Buathong said. “These devices are not intended to detect explosive materials, and the substances he brought in not enough to raise an alarm.”
Mongkolkit said the new detectors will be deployed in the upcoming ASEAN Summit.
Mongkolkit, or “Tay,” was once posed as a staunch supporter of PM Prayuth Chan-ocha, but he reversed his stance in August when he accused Prayuth’s government of mismanagement, alleged irregularities, and intolerance of criticism.