Two Pakistani nationals were arrested in Thailand for forging and selling fake passports that were allegedly used by international crime networks, authorities said Friday. The issue of forged passports has reportedly gained attention in the country since two passengers were found to have been travelling on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 with stolen passports obtained from a resort in Thailand.
Chatchawal Suksomjit, head of the Department of Special Investigation, said Friday that authorities arrested two Pakistani men and two Thai women during a raid in Bangkok and seized a number of stolen and fake passports along with fake visa stamps for more than 40 countries, The Associated Press, or AP reported. Authorities also reportedly found several stolen documents, including identification cards and driver’s licenses. The raid was reportedly conducted after Thai authorities were tipped off by Australian authorities.
"The suspects we have arrested were working in a syndicate and considered a big dealer who can provide a number of fake passports to clients. Plus, they were wanted by many relevant authorities," Chatchawal said, according to AP. "These passports could be used by networks that could lead to people smuggling or other serious crimes."
The two Pakistanis, Shahzad Nazeer Butt, 46, and Khawaja Rizwan Haleem, 32, will reportedly face charges related to forging and selling fake passports, which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison.