Iranian man arrested with over 1,000 fake passports
An Iranian man who has been living in Thailand for some 20 years has been arrested with over 1,000 fake passports of more than 60 countries and has been charged with running a human trafficking gang.
The arrest of Murel Gurat, 45, a long-time Bangkok resident with a lot of businesses, was announced at the head office of the DSI Wednesday. Present at the press conference were representatives from the Special Branch Police Bureau and several embassies.
Gurat also had a fake passport under the name of Esrafil Bondar.
DSI Director Suwanna Suwanjutha sad Gurat was arrested by DSI and Special Branch officials at a house in Tambon Nongplua in Chon Buri’s Bang Lamung district on Sunday.
The officials found tools for forging passports in the house. On Monday, the officials searched another house of Gurat and found over 1,053 fake passports.
Evidence presented at the press conference included a hard drive with information for making fake passports and fake visa stamps.
Suwanna said Gurat was allegedly a member of an international human trafficking gang whose members include Bangladeshi and Pakistani forgers. The gang members stole passports from around the world and sent them to Gurat for forging to use them to smuggle people to third countries.
The smuggled people entered Thailand as tourists and used fake passports from Gurat to travel to third countries. Some of them might be terrorists, she added.
Pol Maj Gen Udon Yomcharoen, commander of the Special Branch Police Division 2, said Gurat was arrested after police followed tips from the arrest of another Iranian man, Seyed Ramin Miraziz Paknejad who has been arrested for forging passports. But Paknejad later jumped bail and was later re-arrested in Malaysia.