Tuesday, April 27, 2010

British Woman Arrested in Thailand Over Passport Forgery

A 21-year-old British national has been arrested attempting to leave the Kingdom of Thailand, after Immigration police had become aware that she was travelling on a forged or suspected fake passport.

Bangkok, the 27th of April 2010 [PDN]: At approximately 11:00am on Tuesday, police Major General Witsanu Prasartthong O-Sot (Deputy Commission of theImmigration Police) along with the Superintendent of the Crime Suppression Division, successfully apprehend British national Miss. Katherine Anne Neville-Gliddon [21]. Miss. Neville-Gliddon was suspected of travelling into the Kingdom on a fraudulent passport.

The joint taskforce pounced on Miss Neville-Gliddon whilst she was waiting at the international departure terminal in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport. A check of the suspect’s passport revealed several irregularities with the document, leading police to immediately arrest and detain her from leaving the country. Miss Neville-Gliddon was due to board a flight to Dubai on Emirates Airline flight EK 373.

According to police, Miss Neville-Gliddon had faked several Royal Thai Immigration stamps in her passport and had used or is part of an illegal document fraud organisation. Several entry and departure stamps were found to be fakes, with both errors in the name of the airport printed on the stamp and the size of the insignia. Miss Neville-Gliddon’s passport spelt the Bangkok Airport as SUVARNABHUM as opposed to SUVARNABHUMI, missing the I at the end. Along with the incorrect size of the stamp, police were able to arrest and detain Miss Neville-Gliddon for further questioning.

Miss Neville-Gliddon has since admitted to using the fraudulent document; however information regarding the forgery, such as its origin, has not been divulged to the media at present. In addition to Miss Neville-Gliddon’s case Thai immigration officers also rejected 20 Indian nationals from entering the Kingdom on Tuesday, after they could not provide suitable evidence of financial means to support their stay in the country or subsequently any proof of a pre-arranged location to reside at whilst visiting Thailand.

Note: Passport forgery and counterfeiting is nothing new to Thailand or the surrounding regions, with thousands of confiscations occurring each year. Black market passports are most commonly used by international criminals, fugitives or terrorists, however; some people have been apprehended in possession of fraudulent documents for relatively minor infringements such as Visa overstays. During 2008 and 2009 Thai Immigration officers seized over 30,000 fraudulent passports, 20,000 of which were confiscated from an organised counterfeiting ring consisting of Thai, Indonesian and Burmese nationals.

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