Thai police have broken up a major fake passport ring led by an Iranian known as “The Doctor” which sent hundreds of passports to Middle Eastern customers trying to enter Europe, authorities say Wednesday.
Photos of the forged documents show some fake Israeli passports as well.
The kingdom has long been a hub for a forged document industry serving human traffickers and other criminals.
Five years of investigation culminated in Monday’s arrest of the alleged Iranian mastermind Hamid Reza Jafary who had learnt his skill from his late father, police say.
The 48-year-old had for many years been crafting sophisticated forgeries from his home in Chachoengsao province east of Bangkok, they say.
“He (Jafary) produced passports for people from countries including Iran, Syria and Afghanistan who were escaping wars and wanted to enter Europe,” according to immigration police commander Lieutenant General Nathathorn Prousoontorn.
“The Doctor” confessed to the crime and could face a decade in jail if convicted, he adds.
Clients emailed the Iranian forger their photos and specified the country for which they wanted a passport, the commander says, adding that Jafary guaranteed his top-quality counterfeits would not be detected by border officials.