RealNews

Thailand Emerges As Fake Passport Capital

Thailand has emerged as one of the criminal world’s main sources for fake and altered passports for frauds, fugitives and terrorists, including at least one al-Qaida-linked operative, Thai and foreign police say. Thai police previously viewed forgery as a petty crime. But under pressure from Western governments after the Sept. 11 attacks, they say they are now cracking down on the black market that aided Hambali, the mastermind of the 2002 Bali attacks and alleged leader of al-Qaida-linked Southeast Asian terror group, Jemaah Islamiyah. Hambali, who goes by one name, had a forged Spanish passport that portrayed him as a well-groomed businessman when he was arrested in the central Thai city of Ayuthaya in August 2003. Full Story

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