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Phuket Immigration head warns of stricter monitoring of passports

Phuket’s head of Immigration has ordered officers to be more strict when inspecting passports, and to visit guesthouses and hotels in Phuket to view the guest list, in order to keep a closer eye on fraudulent passport use.
Immigration police met with identity fraud victim Luigi Maraldi, who had his passport stolen in Phuket and it was later used by someone to board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, and have written him off as a suspect.

stolen passports missing planeThe head of Immigration, Pol Sr Col Sanchai Chokkayaikit, said he had ordered immigration officers to be more strict when inspecting, and to watch out for the use of fake passports on the island. Immigration officers should also scrutinize those arriving and departing from Phuket more closely, to watch for fraudulent use of passports, he said.

He said officers would be inspecting guesthouses and hotels in Phuket to view the guest list, and appealed to all foreigners in Phuket to carry their passports with them at all times.

Mr Maraldi was questioned at 2pm yesterday at Phuket Immigration, and Immigration police were confident that he was purely a victim in this case.
Col Sanchai also confirmed that Mr Maraldi only had one passport, not four as had been reported by some media.

Mr Maraldi had earlier explained to the head of Region 8 Police, Pol Lt Gen Panya Mamen, that his passport was stolen on July 22, 2013, after an incident at a motorbike rental shop.

He used his passport as a deposit when he rented a motorbike, and when he returned the bike, he was told his passport had been given to someone else. He contacted police on July 25 to report his passport stolen, and was given a temporary travel document to return home to Italy.

Mr Maraldi arrived back in Thailand on March 1, and police located him at a guesthouse on Nanai Road, and brought him to the police station for questioning.

Phuket News



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