300 Visa Labels 'Missing' From Malaysia's Thai Embassy

Mr. Nameka Sunday Edwin

(22 August) 300 visa
labels have disappeared from the Royal Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, officials said, raising fears
that the labels might fall into hands of transnational criminal syndicates or terror

The revelation followed the arrest of a Nigerien national at the Thai-Malaysia in
Songkhla Province. Mr. Nameka Sunday Edwin, 35, was attempting to cross the border to Malaysia, but
the police discovered that he was under a watch-list issued by the Thai Embassy in the Malaysian

Further investigation revealed that Mr. Edwin possessed the Thai Visa label number A04495149,
which was marked by the Thai Embassy in Malaysia as stolen. The notice also reportedly said Mr.
Edwin may endanger the national security of Thailand. The police promptly arrested Mr. Edwin and
charged him with holding false documents.

Prior to Mr. Edwin’s arrest, the immigration
office in Mukdaharn province also reported that they had apprehended a man who entered Thailand from
Laos’ Savannakhet Province with a passport bearing a visa label issued by the Thai Embassy Kuala

The police arrested him after they realised he had never been to Malaysia in the
first place, and the visa label was also reported as stolen. The man admitted to police he paid
30,000 baht to a collaborator for the visa label.

Eventually, the Immigration Bureau
received a report from the Thai Embassy in Malaysia that 300 out of 3,000 visa labels have somehow
been missing from its mission there, according to officials at the Bureau. The missing labels
reportedly bear the number A4049901-A4056000 and A5801901-A5802000.

The officials added that
259 stolen labels had been used to cross Thai border by 35 Iranians, 1 Cameroonian, 20 Nigerians, 4
Pakistanis, 4 Indians and other people from Asia Minor Countries.

Reportedly, 55 people
still remain in the Kingdom of Thailand, and the Immigration Bureau said the police already have 9
people in custody.

The incident might be the most serious breach in Thai border control in
recent times. It is not clear how long the visa labels have been missing, and why the information
had not been made public earlier.

Meanwhile, a source revealed that those who entered the
country illegally with the stolen visa labels had contacted a Thai woman named “Mama”, said to be
operating in Soi Pattanakarn 64 in Bangkok.

The process involved sending a passport photo
and 10,000 baht cash for the deposit to Mama. The illegal migrant would have to pay another 20,000
baht once the fake visa was granted a couple of days later, the source said.

According to
our correspondent, 5 officials – 3 Thais and 2 Malaysians – at the Visa Department in Kuala Lampur’s
Royal Thai Embassy are being investigated for their suspected connection with the missing

Officials at Office of National Security and Immigration Bureau said they are working
closely to prevent international crimes and keeping close look at individuals under the Watch List.
The bureau also urged various immigration offices at the border to be aware of these people.