August 3, 2005

Thais arrest UK-Algerian with 450 fake passports

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai police arrested a British man of
Algerian descent on Wednesday for having more than 450 fake
passports from several European countries.

Police said the 35 year-old was arrested early on Wednesday
at Bangkok airport while in transit from the southeastern Thai
resort island of Samui to Amsterdam and ultimately to Glasgow
in Scotland.

"He confessed that he bought the fake passports from a
Pakistani man in Thailand's famous Samui island for 3,000
pounds," the equivalent of $5,300, police said in a statement.

The 452 forged passports were for Spain, Belgium, Portugal
and France. The British embassy in Bangkok declined immediate

Thailand is notorious as a center for production and
distribution of fake travel documents.

However, police have been under pressure to clamp down on
the trade, which security analysts say makes it easier for
international militants to hide their identities and travel
undetected. ($1=.5643 Pound)