An Australian model and English tutor who was questioned by Thai police on Tuesday night after being accused online of being the Bangkok bomber said he was in shock and saddened by what had happened. He was later released.
Sunny Burns, originally from Sydney but currently working as a personal trainer and part-time actor in the Thai capital, handed himself in to authorities after social media users wrongly identified him as being the man believed to be responsible for the Erawan Shrine bombing, which killed at least 22 people on Monday night.
Thai authorities said on Wednesday they were looking for accomplices of the chief suspect for the Bangkok shrine bomb blast that killed 22 people. The man was captured on closed-circuit television (CCTV) dumping a backpack and walking away.
"We suspect he is the bomber," national police spokesman Prawut Thawornsiri said, via Reuters, referring to the man in a yellow T-shirt in a grainy video that has gone viral on social media.
"We are also looking for other suspects in connection with the blast. These types of attacks are not usually planned by one person alone," he added. Social media users pointed the finger at Burns, who appears to have a similar hairstyle to the suspect.
Burns, who has worked as a model in Hong Kong, wrote on Facebook that he was yelled at by a Thai police chief and had his home searched for bombs or bomb-making material, but still said he was treated well overall.
He said he was cleared when CCTV footage emerged of him on his way from the gym to teach an English class in another part of Bangkok.
“This is all because of social media and some jealous hater spreading gossip,” Burns wrote on Facebook. “Mum, I’m safe and more worried about the people injured in the attack.
“Stay safe everyone and pray for Thailand.”