Malaysia has arrested six people suspected of being part of a human trafficking network and who may have helped a bomber who killed 20 people at a Bangkok shrine last month escape from Thailand, police said on Wednesday.
The suspects joined two people already in Malaysian detention who may have helped the bomber, who Thai police said was a foreigner of unknown identity, flee across southern Thailand’s border with Malaysia, police in both countries said.
Four of the six people arrested last week were believed to be minority Uighur Muslims, who come from China`s far western Xinjiang region, said Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, director of the Malaysian police counter-terrorism unit.
Thai police have made two arrests over the Aug. 17 blast, Thailand`s worst ever bombing, that killed 20 people, including 14 foreigners, seven from Hong Kong and mainland China.
The chief suspect is a man in a yellow shirt caught on security camera footage leaving a backpack at the shrine. He was implicated by a man in Thai detention who admitted to delivering the bag containing the bomb to him, police say.
Ayob told Reuters the six were not directly linked to the bombing but to a human-trafficking gang.
“We believe that they facilitated the movement of the yellow-shirt man but we cannot confirm since it is an ongoing investigation,” Ayob said.