The Council of Ministers yesterday rejected Thai media reports that two suspected masterminds behind a bomb attack in Bangkok last week have fled to Cambodia, describing the report as “groundless and ill-intentioned.”
A statement released by the council’s press and quick reaction unit yesterday described the report, which appeared in The Bangkok Post yesterday, as an act of “provocation against the Kingdom of Cambodia.”
According to the statement, the newspaper, as well as the website of the Thai-language newspaper Matichon, were making “a veiled accusation that Cambodia is harboring Thai fugitives.”
The Bangkok Post and Thai News Agency reported Sunday that Warisaya Boonsom and Kobchai Boonplod, wanted in connection with a bomb attack on the headquarters of the Bhumjaithai political party and suspected of connections to the “red shirt” movement, crossed into Cambodia on June 23 via Sa Kaew province, which joins Cambodia’s border check point in Poipet City.
Defense Ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Chhum Sucheat flatly denied this allegation yesterday.
“We checked all the border [crossing] points and there were no such names,” he said. “The newspaper published false information to cheat the public.”
Deputy national police commissioner Sok Phal said yesterday that Thai authorities had not contacted Cambodian police in connection with the reported fugitives. “It seems like they want to talk loudly rather than make arrests,” he said.
Officials at the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh were unavailable yesterday. This is the third time this month that the Council of Ministers has denied Thai media reports that anti-government red shirts were hiding in Cambodia.
The Council of Ministers on June 3 denied claims aired on Thai TV broadcaster ASTV by a Thai army commander that red shirt forces were training in Oddar Meanchey province’s Anlong Veng district. On June 19, the same station broadcast an interview in which it was alleged that red shirt leaders were hiding in Poipet City, prompting another statement.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong described the news reports as false. “Stop playing games and trying to shift the blame,” he said.