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Police late last night arrested an African man at Phuket Airport after suspecting him of using a fake passport to illegally enter the kingdom with more than 4,500 pills of pharmaceuticals on his person.
The man, answering to the name typed into the passport, Josphat Gikundi Gichunuku, 35 years old and from Kenya, had arrived to Phuket on an Emirates flight from Dubai, U.A.E at 10.30pm, and proceeded through the immigration queue.
Police immigration officer Mr Kiti Klaisumnieng initially stamped the man through, but on second thought, decided to consult with his colleagues about doubts he had about the passenger.
“Information on the profile page of the passport [appeared to have been] manually typed in; the title on the cover of the passport that read “Republic of Kenya” was barely legible, and the passport number didn’t match [with another reference number, presumably that on the immigration form],” Mr Kiti told The Phuket News.
Immigration officers teamed up with Tourist police to swiftly track down the suspect before he was able to leave the airport, and proceeded to search and question him.
In his bag, police found 380 10-pill packs of XASTEN Dexamethasone and 85 10-pill packs of Super Apetf drugs, an amount which was deemed more than one would need for personal use in a 30-day period, as allowed by law.
Accordingly, the suspect was arrested, transported to Tachadchai Police Station and charged for violation of Section 12 and 13 (sub section 4) of the Drug Act (1967), which carries a penalty of up to a B10,000 fine and/or imprisonment not exceeding five years.
The suspect was also charged with using a fake passport to enter the kingdom, and police said they are in the process of working with an interpreter to confirm the identity of the man, who has accepted the charges.