Thai po­lice crack down on pass­port fakes

The Pak Banker - - 6international -

BANGKOK: Sus­pects ar­rested in Spain and Thai­land in con­nec­tion with an in­ter­na­tional ring that pro­vided forged pass­ports to ter­ror­ists may have passed fake doc­u­ments to the per­pe­tra­tors of the 2004 Madrid bomb­ings, Thai au­thor­i­ties said Thurs­day. The ar­rests of seven peo­ple in Spain and three in Thai­land this week rep­re­sent a ma­jor achieve­ment in dis­man­tling one of the world's most no­to­ri­ous forgery rings - one known for its skill in pro­vid­ing fake doc­u­ments to crim­i­nal and ter­ror en­ter­prises - said Jaime Fa, a po­lice at­tache at the Span­ish Em­bassy in Bangkok.

At a press con­fer­ence in Bangkok, Thai Pol. Col. Naratch Sawe­tanant of the Depart­ment of Spe­cial In­ves­ti­ga­tion said Span­ish po­lice have ev­i­dence that some of the sus­pects ar­rested this week pro­vided fake iden­ti­fi­ca­tion doc­u­ments to the Mus­lim mil­i­tants blamed in the bomb­ing at­tack six years ago on Madrid's com­muter trains. Some 191 peo­ple were killed and more than 1,800 wounded when 10shrap­nel filled bombs ripped through the Span­ish cap­i­tal's com­muter trains dur­ing rush hour on March 11, 2004. M Athar, 39, and Zee­shan Eh­san Butt, 27, both of Pak­istan; and Sirikanya Kit­bam­rung, 25, of Thai­land were ar­rested at a check­point on Nov. 30 while try­ing to en­ter Laos. They face pos­si­ble charges of al­legedly re­ceiv­ing stolen pass­ports from net­works in Spain and else­where in Europe via reg­u­lar mail and then al­ter­ing the pass­ports for clients, said Naratch. Po­lice found items used to pro­duce fake doc­u­ments such as pass­ports, en­try-exit stamps, and visa stick­ers dur­ing a raid of the trio's Bangkok apart­ment on Wed­nes­day, Naratch said. -Ap

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