UTTARADIT — Five people are wanted by police for allegedly run a criminal scheme that produced fake Thai ID cards for foreigners living in Thailand.
Police Col. Pramuan Yimchan, a station superintendent in Uttaradit province, said at a press conference today that the five suspects sought for issuing the bogus cards are a state official, a monk and three civilians, though he did not identify any of them by name.
“All of the cards belonged to people who already died, but their names have not yet been removed from the citizens registration database.” Pramuan said. “The deceased were from different provinces … Their cards were used as new national ID cards for foreigners so that they can stay in Thailand indefinitely without ever having to acquire or extend visas.”
A fake Thai ID card allegedly found on a Singaporean businessman attempting to cross over the border in Chiang Rai province to Myanmar. Photo: Immigration Police
The scheme came to light after police in Chiang Rai arrested a 50-year-old Singaporean businessman trying to enter Myanmar with a fake Thai ID card, according to Pramuan. The Singaporean man’s ID card bore the name of a Thai man from Uttaradit province who died long ago, he added.
The Singaporean man was reportedly arrested after he presented the fake ID card to Thai immigration police at Thai – Myanmar border in Chiang Rai province on 28 July. The Singaporean works as a business manager in Bangkok, according to police reports.
Pramuan said further investigation reveals that a total of 11 counterfeit ID cards have been issued. Two, including the one carried by the Singaporean national, were allegedly issued at Baan Khok District Office in Uttaradit province.
According to Police Col. Pramuan, the forgers charged each foreigner 200,000 baht for their service.
He told reporters that the five suspects have not been arrested, and that police need permission from the National Anti-Corruption Commission to issue an arrest warrant for one of the suspects, who works as a permanent secretary in the Baan Khok District Office.
“Since this is an abuse of power within the bureaucracy, we have to file the request to the commission, and it will grant us permission,” Pramuan explained. “Then, we will proceed as told by the commission. We have already filed the request, but we have not yet received a reply.”
Pramuan added that police still have not identified the foreigners who have been using the counterfeit ID cards either.
“This case is a case that affects national security, and it is clearly committed by a criminal syndicate. We cannot know where these foreigners who are using Thai ID cards are, because the cards can be issued anywhere in the country,” Pramuan said.
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