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Two Pakistanis held in alleged fakepassport bust

Two Pakistani men have been arrested in Phang Nga on suspicion of forging passports and selling them, with the likely help of corrupt district officials.

One suspect was identified as Shahid Javed Dar, 40, but the other's identity was not available. Dar used the alias Saheed Maleh, while the second suspect, who is 32, has been posing as Abdul Rahman Sekpathan. Both of these false identities were taken from deceased persons. The suspects have been charged initially with making and using false documents.

Department of Special Investigation agents said the suspects had used the identities of deceased Muslim men. They operated with two groups of Thai nationals who solicited and contacted customers, in addition to receiving assistance from corrupt officials.

A senior agent, Charnchai Likhitkhanthasorn, said the pair sold around 1,000 fake passports, at Bt90,000 apiece. Bribes of between Bt80,000 and Bt300,000 were paid to officials in exchange for deathregistration details selected to match as closely as possible each client's profile.

Apart from the names of deceased people, the suspects also used names of people with inactive registrations, and disabled people who are not required to have identity cards, Charnchai said.

"The latest technique is that they acquire the ID numbers of locals living in the deep South who have dual nationalities, or those without the need to have ID cards," Charnchai said.

The two suspects previously operated in western border provinces, but later moved to provinces in the Central and Northeast regions, where their activities attracted less attention from police.

Meanwhile, Provincial Police Region 1 crime suppression operations resulted in the arrests of 1,652 suspects from June 2327, while Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) police arrested nine Indonesians using a room on Sukhumvit Road to take online football bets.

Provincial Police Region 1 acting chief Winai Thongsong yesterday praised the police's success in making the arrests. Taken into custody were 245 gun suspects along with 224 guns - 124 of which were illegal - and 1,480 pieces of ammunition; 976 drug suspects along with 44,868 yaba tablets, 252 grams of crystal meth, 29.5kg of marijuana and 16.8kg of kratom leaves; 40 suspects already wanted for other offences; and 391 gambling suspects.

Winai instructed police to emphasise gun and drug cases in Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan and Lop Buri.

TCSD police arrested the nine Indonesians in a room at the President Park Condominium in Bangkok's Klong Toei district. They had been renting the room for a year and using it to take bets, according to police, who seized four computers, 11 cellphones, three Indonesian bankaccount books, 31 moneytransferring devices and a book containing lists of customers' names. The gang allegedly confessed to running an online gambling site with 800 customers a day and daily cash flow of Bt1 million.


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