Eight arrested in passport scam linked to terrorists

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Special investigators have arrested eight people, including three Thai women, who were allegedly members of two passport forgery rackets with links to the Madrid train bombings in 2004 that killed 191 people.

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) said yesterday that in addition to providing assistance to terrorists groups based in Europe, the two groups also provided fake passports to criminal gangs involved in drugs and human trafficking.

The first suspect to be arrested, Thai national Orawan Limprasert, 31, is a girlfriend of a member of the terrorist group that was responsible for the 2004 train bombings, DSI deputy director general Dusaddee Arayawuth said at a press conference yesterday.

Quoting Orawan, he said her racket’s clients were mainly male travellers aged between 25/35. The group forged passports stolen from holders based in Europe or those with EU granted permits to travel in many European countries. “The passports forged by this group of suspects, which are sold at US$10,000 [Bt330,000] apiece, are difficult to verify whether they are real or fake,” he said.

(The Nation)


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