Thai police have arrested two people in connection with spreading false information about the bomb attack on the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok. Arrests include a student who posted a bomb threat on Facebook and was charged with computer crime.
The computer crime charge is punishable by up to five years in jail and a fine of 100,000 baht (£1,800). There were no details of the second arrest, except that it occurred in Bangkok.
The student was arrested in Ayutthaya on Saturday 22 August, which is about 80km north of Bangkok. The student was not identified.
Colonel Winthai Suvaree, spokesperson for the junta which currently rules Thailand, announced the arrests during a TV broadcast on Sunday, 23 August, to give an update on the bombing. The only details he gave was that two people were arrested for spreading "false information causing confusion in the society". He declined to say whether their posts were directly linked to the bombing, according to Fox News.
Thailand's deadliest attack
The attack on the Erawan Shrine killed 22 people and injured more than 100. While terrorism and politically-related violence has become a regular occurrence in Thailand in recent years, the attack on 17 August is the deadliest one the country has seen.
So far there are few leads in the investigation. Police spokesman Prawut Thawornsiri says he believes the perpetrator would have timed an escape carefully and "wouldn't have much time to stay around".
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, national police chief Somyot Poompanmoung, said: "We need some luck. If the police have good fortune we might be able to make an arrest but… if the perpetrator has good fortune maybe they can get away."
"I suspect that he may have left. But we will keep searching," he told Channel 3 TV, "in case we can find others who may be in the country or find clues, evidence and witnesses who may have seen him."
Police have offered a reward for information. On Friday it was raised to 3 million baht (£535,142).
An arrest warrant has been issued for the suspect, in which the bomber is described as a "foreign man". However, a military spokesman has said any connection to international terrorism seemed unlikely.
Thais ask for media restraint
Many social media users also shared clips and images of the suspected bomber seen at the Erawan Shrine and a video of another small bomb at Sathorn Pier. However, those sharing graphic images of the victims were criticised, giving rise to a campaign for the hashtag #sharecarefully.
Thai Journalists Association president Wanchai Wongmeechai also issued a statement calling on the media to not broadcast graphic images and to verify all information properly before reporting. "The media should be considerate and refrain from double victimizing the family of the victims," said the statement. "Moreover, dissemination of such graphic pictures would also add up to the grief of Thai society during the time of violence."