International forgery gangmembers arrested
- Published: 3/12/2010 at 11:26 AM
- Online news:
DSI says members of a transnational passport forgery gang with links to terrorist groups have been arrested here in Thailand.
Terror suspects held over
Police seek more time to gather information
Zeeshan: Raid uncovered forgery equipment
Three suspected members of a passport forgery gang arrested in Thailand believed to be linked with terrorist groups and organised crime have been refused bail.
The DSI asked the Criminal Court yesterday to refuse bail for the three, reasoning that they were suspected of being involved in supporting terrorist groups and should not be given the chance to jump bail and escape. The court approved the request.
DSI officers and immigration police detained a Pakistani national, identified as Zeeshan Ehsan Butt, 27, on Wednesday after a raid on a house in Bangkok's Rat Burana district.
This followed the arrest on Tuesday of a couple identified as Muhammad Athar Butt, 39, and Sirikalya Kitbamrung, 25, as they were about to cross into Laos from Nong Khai.
Police say a search of the Rat Burana house uncovered equipment used to forge passports, including fake passport stamps, a computer, a printer, a black light, mail box numbers from Spain, where other suspects have been arrested, and information about the sending of false passports.
Sirikalya: Arrested trying to cross border Muhammad: Linked to terrorist group
DSI deputy chief Narat Savetnant yesterday said information from Spanish police indicated the passport forgery gang was linked with an extremist group which was responsible for several terror incidents in Madrid, including train bombings in 2004 which killed 191, a car bomb attack at the international airport, and an arson attack that gutted a 32-storey building.
Mr Narat claimed the gang had used Thailand as a base to produce fake passports and passed them to transnational crime groups. Members of the gang come mostly from South Asia, particularly Pakistan.
He said members of the passport forgery gang which operated in Europe stole passports and travel documents from tourists in several countries, including Spain and France, and sent them to Thailand where they were falsified and passed to terrorist groups and organised crime groups involved in human trafficking, arms trafficking and illegal immigration.
The National Police Office, Immigration Bureau, Customs Department and Spanish embassy have been alerted to the case.
Seven men – six Pakistanis and one Nigerian – were arrested in the Spanish city of Barcelona and accused of providing fake identification documents to groups linked to al-Qaeda.
Muhammad: Linked to terrorist group
Mr Narat said the suspected gang members who were arrested in Spain and in Thailand were suspected to be linked to the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which was responsible for the attacks in Mumbai in November 2008 in which 174 people were killed, and to a terrorist group involved in acts of sabotage in Spain.
The Spanish embassy's police attache Jaime Fa said the arrests were part of a major international operation by law enforcers against a network suspected of forging passports for groups linked to al-Qaeda.
He claimed the three suspected members of the passport forgery gang who were arrested in Thailand operated as the final production unit before the falsified passports were sent to terrorist groups overseas.
A DSI source said stolen passports and travel documents were sent by mail to Thailand. The documents were then allegedly falsified by the three.
Forged passports range in price between 40,000 and 60,000 baht.
Old passports and passports that carry many stamps fetch high prices as they look more credible, the source said, adding that customers were largely in the Middle East.
terror – violence used for making people very frightened in order to achieve political aims การก่อการร้าย การสร้างความหวาดกลัว
suspect – a person who is thought to have committed a crime ผู้ต้องสงสัย
forgery – the crime of making illegal copies of something valuable, especially in order to earn money การปลอมแปลงเอกสาร
linked – connected เชื่อมโยง
bail – money that is given to a court when someone is allowed to stay out of prison until their trial. If they do not return for the trial, the court keeps the money เงินประกัน; การประกันตัว
refuse bail – (of a court) to not to allow someone to go free on bail ไม่ให้ประกันตัว
terrorist – of someone who uses violence and fear in order to achieve something ผู้ก่อการร้าย โจรผู้ร้าย
jump bail – to fail to return for your trial after being permitted to go free on bail
approve – to give official permission อนุมัต
immigration police – the police agency dealing with people entering and leaving the country สำนักงานตรวจคนเข้าเมือง
detain – to keep someone in a police station or prison and not allow them to leave กักตัว ควบคุมตัวหรือฝากขัง
identified – named ระบุชื่อ
raid – using force to enter a place suddenly in order to arrest people or search for something such as illegal weapons or drugs การเข้าตรวจค้น
couple – two people who are connected in some way คุ่
search – looking somewhere or through something carefully in order to find something การค้นหา
uncover – to discover something secret or hidden ค้นพบข้อเท็จจริง
fake – made to look like something real in order to trick people ที่ทำปลอม
indicate – to express an intention, opinion, or wish in an indirect way ชี้ทาง, บอกทาง, ชี้ให้เห็น
extremist – a person or group whose opinions, especially about religion or politics, are extreme, and who may do things that are violent, illegal, etc. for what they believe พวกหัวรุนแรง,ผู้นิยม
incident – something that happens, usually something bad เหตุการณ์
arson – the illegal use of fire to destroy a house, building, or property
gutted – burned completely from the inside out ถูกไฟไหม้
base – a place from where an activity can be planned or controlled ฐานที่มั่น
transnational – involving more than one country; present in more than one country ข้ามชาติ
document – a paper or set of papers with written or printed information, especially of an official type เอกสาร
falsify – to change something, such as a document, in order to deceive people ปลอมแปลง
trafficking – dealing in illegal goods, like drugs, weapons or in illegally moving humans from one place to another การค้าสิ่งที่ผิดกฎหมาย
arms – weapons อาวุธ
immigration bureau – the government agency dealing with people entering and leaving the country and those who want to live there สำนักงานตรวจคนเข้าเมือง
Customs Department – a government department which checks and collects taxes on goods leaving or entering the country กรมศุลกากร
embassy – a group of officials who represent their government in a foreign country สถานทูต
alert – to tell someone in authority about a danger or problem so that they can take action to deal with แจ้งให้ทราบ, บอก
sabotage – deliberate damage that is done to an enemy or opponent การบ่อนทำลาย
attaché – a person who works at an embassy, usually with a special responsibility for a particular area of activity เจ้าหน้าที่สถานทูต,ผู้ช่วยทูต
operation – a planned activity involving a lot of people, especially soldiers or police officers การปฏิบัติการ
law enforcers – police and other officials responsible for making sure laws are obeyed
network – a large system of connected parts, organisations, people, etc. เครือข่าย
overseas – connected with foreign countries, especially those separated from your country by the sea or ocean เกี่ยวกับต่างประเทศ, ข้ามทะเล
source – someone who gives information แหล่งข่าว
allegedly – claimed to have done something wrong, but not yet proven ที่กล่าวหา
fetch – to be sold for a particular amount of money ขายในราคาหนึ่ง
credible – able to be believed or trusted น่าเชื่อถือ
About the author
- Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager