Bangkok: Two Pakistanis and two Thai women have been arrested here for allegedly forging passports of over 40 countries for customers in and outside Thailand.
Shahzad Nazeer Butt, 46, Khawaja Rizwan Haleem, 32, Butt's wife Orawan and Nongrak Rakwongsri were arrested on August 30 by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) in Din Daeng district. Their arrest was not made public until yesterday.
The four operated a restaurant in Pathunam area for 20 years as a front for their real business, which was producing forged passports, said Songsak Ruksrisakul, chief of the International Affairs and Transnational Crimes office at DSI.
They bought real passports stolen from foreigners and altered them, changing the names and other information according to the needs of customers in Thailand and abroad, Songsak was quoted as saying by the Bangkok Post.
The officials searched the apartment and restaurant of the accused and seized evidence including Italian passports, pictures to be used in fake passports, fake visas, identification cards, drivers' licences and passport covers of more than 42 nationalities, Songsak said.
Passport theft and forgery is a major problem in Thailand, a major tourist destination.