Malaysia nabs Iranian passport forger
07 August 2013, 15:24
Kuala Lumpur - An Iranian man suspected of providing forged documents to bombers involved in a series of explosions in Thailand is in Malaysian custody, police said on Wednesday.
Syed Ramin Miraziz Paknejad, aged 45, was arrested with his wife on the weekend, the deputy chief of Malaysia's Task Force on Counter Terrorism said.
Paknejad is believed to be a mastermind behind South-East Asia's largest human trafficking and passport counterfeiting syndicate, Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said.
"He facilitated the trafficking of most of the Iranians who wanted to flee to countries like Australia and he is also wanted by the Thais," he said
Thai police suspect Paknejad of supplying forged passports to a group of Iranians accused of setting off a series of blasts in Bangkok in February 2012.
An apartment used by Paknejad contained counterfeiting equipment and records of sales of thousands of fake passports, driver's licenses and other forged documents, officials said.
Paknejad managed to escape from the Thai authorities, and Malaysian police began to hunt for him after receiving a tip-off from a "third country", Ayob said.
He said the suspect was caught with a fake Turkish passport which he is believed to have used to enter Malaysia from Thailand.
Paknejad allegedly tried to continue his counterfeit operation from Malaysia.
"We will charge him under our immigration laws for possessing a fake passport," Ayob said.