Police at Bangkok’s Ta Rua Police Station in a follow-up search of Thanayut Na Ayudhaya’s home in Klong Toey unearthed explosives. The 20-year-old critically acclaimed rapper known as ‘Eleven Finger’ has been watched closely by security services since his name first appeared on a list of activists linked with street protest activity that erupted in Bangkok in July 2020.

An acclaimed young rapper who has become well known outside of Thailand due to his starring role in a Netflix documentary series was this week charged by police in Bangkok with taking part in an explosive attack on the Prime Minister Prayut Chan ocha’s residence in Bangkok last Sunday using ping pong bombs which were thrown by riders on motorcycles in a cortege of vehicles led by the rapper’s car and driven by his girlfriend who has also been charged with conspiracy.

Thanayut Na Ayudhaya known to fans as ‘Eleven Finger’ speaks to reporters this week after his arrest in connection with the drive-by ping pong bomb attack on the residence of the Prime Minister Prayut Chan ocha in a military compound in the centre of Bangkok last Sunday after a Red Shirt commemorative event at Democracy Monument where he is believed to have performed.

On Tuesday, Metropolitan police in Bangkok detained the 20-year-old rapper Thanayut Na Ayudhaya known as ‘Eleven Finger’ who has become known to international audiences for his role in a popular Netflix documentary detailing his burgeoning musical career in the slums of Klong Toey.

It followed a ping bomb attack on the residence of the Prime Minister Prayut Chan ocha on Sunday evening last.

Charged before Bangkok court with possessing explosives and causing an explosion in connection with Sunday’s incident at the prime minister’s home

After his arrest, the rapper was brought before the South Bangkok Criminal Court and charged with being in possession of explosives as well as causing an explosion for his role in taking part in a procession of vehicles at the time that two ping pong devices were thrown at the PM’s residence within a military compound in the Rama 1 area of Bangkok.

Protests and political crisis of 2010

The incident occurred after a commemorative event held on Sunday, April 10th for the Red Shirt protests which ran from March 2010 to May 2010 in which 85 people lost their lives.

This took place at Democracy Monument as the young rapper is understood to have played a part in proceedings.

Rapper denies culpability for what happened, said he knew those involved and was aware of their actions

Mr Thanayut has denied to police that he was responsible for throwing the ping pong bombs, low-grade explosive devices that can be dangerous at close range and which make a loud noise, into the Prime Minister’s compound although he admitted that the people on motorbikes following his car driven by his girlfriend Panita were known to him and that he was aware the ping bombs had been thrown.

It is understood that police at Phaya Thai Police Station in Bangkok had earlier detained two of the motorbike riders, both 18 years of age who are thought by police to have been involved in the incident.

On that day of the attack, Mr Thanayut told police that he had attended a political rally where he played music at Democracy Monument.

This is not the first time the Prime Minister’s home has been targeted by opposition forces or those linked to street protests.

Military asked to help quell protests as mob, targeting PM’s home, burn out small roadside police office

In August 2021, heavy police forces had to intervene to stop demonstrators from converging on the location leading to violent disturbances. A similar situation also developed in July 2021.

Metropolitan Police Bureau chief monitoring the investigation which has seen eight people questioned

The investigation into the attack on the prime minister’s residence is being personally overseen by the Chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, Police Lieutenant General Samran Nuanma.

It is understood that seven other people in addition to Mr Thanayut, took part in the incident.

The two arrested teenagers were found to be in possession of 3 ping pong bombs, a ping pong device wrapped in a can of spray and a knife.

They were riding a red and black Yamaha Fino model motorbike without a number plate after the incident on Sunday last, April 10th.

The explosive devices were found in a compartment at the back of the motorbike which was seized by police as evidence.

Police noticed a suspicious motorbike without number plates after the attack leading to two arrests

Police noticed the motorbike acting suspiciously after the bomb attack was reported at the prime minister’s residence.

It is understood that when the suspects were approached, they had initially resisted arrest by patrol officers.

Investigating officers later charged the pair with possession of explosives and carrying a knife in a public area as well as interference with officers in the performance of their duties.

Thanayut Na Ayudhaya, also known as ‘Book’, has denied responsibility for the attack on General Prayut’s home and is being represented by the activist group, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.

Rapper’s girlfriend charged with conspiracy after interview with police at Bang Sue Station in Bangkok

It is reported that when his girlfriend, named only as Patima, who was driving his car last Sunday, went to be interviewed by police at Bang Sue Police Station this week, she was also charged with conspiring to cause an explosion and with carrying a weapon.

Police Colonel Danupat Kwanpasumon of Tha Rua Police Station has revealed that CCTV footage shows Mr Thanayut’s car and the other suspects driving past the prime minister’s residence on Sunday evening after the event at Democracy Monument finished up.

Mr Thanayut admits to police that he was involved in the procession on his way home from the event last Sunday but denied criminal responsibility for throwing the ping pong bombs.

Senior police officer says explosives found at the performer’s home after a follow-up search this week

The senior police officer also revealed that explosive materials were found in a follow-up search of Mr Thanayut’s home.

Currently, the young rapper has been charged with possession of explosives, causing an explosion and carrying a weapon in a public place without reasonable cause.

Mr Thanayut or ‘Eleven Finger’ was named on a list of activists by authorities following the eruption of street protests in July 2020 and is understood to be closely watched by security services.

The 20-year-old rapper has received critical acclaim for his role in the award-winning Netflix documentary School Town King released in 2019 when he was 18 years of age.

The film follows the life of the rapper in the Klong Toey slum in Bangkok, the biggest slum in Thailand.

Online video recorded last year for Singapore’s Strait Times spotlights the Bangkok slum rapper’s talent

In a video for the Straits Times newspaper in Singapore at the height of the pandemic last September, the young rapper introduced viewers to the Klong Toey slum and composed an impromptu rap on the spot in which he highlighted the happiness in the slum despite the crime and poverty.

‘Eleven Finger’ introduces Klong Toey in September 2021 (The Straits Times) 

‘They see us as beneath them, beneath the dogs, no matter how rich or poor we are, we are equal in dignity,’ he rapped.

Nonetheless, police in Bangkok are treating last Sunday’s incident as a serious and dangerous act of violence directed at the kingdom’s prime minister and his family. 

Officers also believe that the attack involved a conspiracy between the groups and was a well organised and executed criminal act.

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