Crackdown on issue of illegal ID cards to foreigners
The Department of Special Investigation and the Interior Ministry will on January 23 launch a joint crackdown on the illegal issuance of national identification cards to foreigners, many of them drug traffickers.
"That has given trans-border criminals a channel to escape the long arm of the law," Lt-Colonel Pong-in Intornkhao, head of the DSI's Security Crime Bureau, said yesterday.
"We can't let such corrupt practices go on. It's a threat to national security," he said.
Wanted drug kingpin Wei Xuegang from Wa state in Myanmar, for example, has managed to obtain authentic ID cards showing him as Thai. One identifies him as Chanchai Cheewinnitipanya and the other as Suchart Panlertkul.
Tharit Pengdit, director-general of the DSI, would lead a team to gather information in Chiang Mai.
"Our preliminary investigation has found that 20,000 aliens got Thai IDs by paying agents with a connection to corrupt administration officials," Pong-in said.
They paid Bt120,000-Bt180,000 per card.
A DSI source said the problem was most rampant in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Tak and Mae Hong Son, northern provinces where many non-Thai ethnic groups now live.