Going under the names “Karl Heinz Kirsch” and “Emma Katherine Smith,” the suspects were taken into custody at a Kasikorn Bank branch at Central Festival Pattaya Beach after Kirsch went in to complain about why he was unable to use an ATM to withdraw money from his account.
Somehow, Emma managed to grow a mustache and beard…
Police believe that Karl Heinz Kirsch might actually be Joseph Conteh, but have thus far been unable to determine the true identity of “Emma Katherine Smith”. No doubt the giveaway was that the person using the “Emma Katherine Smith” passport was actually a man. Not exactly a very smart man, either.
Bank employee Sirichai Sathitchaipas had frozen the account and called police after suspecting Kirsch’s passport was fake. Police contacted Eric Jerancelet, a police liaison with the French embassy, who confirmed that not only Kirsch’s passport, but Smith’s as well had been counterfeited.
Police said the two men admitted to buying the fake passports in the Ivory Coast with the intent of opening bank accounts. The account, containing just under 70,000 baht, has been frozen and authorities are now trying to trace past transactions.