An Iranian suspected of forging the passports used by bombers in the Valentine’s Day explosions in Bangkok has been arrested at his central Pattaya condominium.
Parknejed Seyed Ramin, 44, was taken into custody by Department of Special Investigations officers and Chonburi provincial police at the Niran Grand Condominium June 8. Computers, counterfeiting equipment and records of the sale of thousands of fake passports, drivers licenses and other forged documents were recovered.
An officer places a shotgun on the counter, one of the many items confiscated from alleged passport forger Parknejed Seyed Ramin’s (seated, center) house.
Ramin is accused of working in Thailand for five years, supplying terrorists and criminals around the world with fake immigration documents. Among them are a group of Iranians arrested Feb. 14 in Bangkok after an explosion at their apparent bomb-making base and subsequent blasts during pursuit by police.
During the search, police discovered evidence of a second passport-forging base in Naklua. Ramin directed police to the small rental house on Naklua Soi 12 (aka Soi 555) where more computers, records and a gun were recovered.
Col. Songsak Raksaksakul, commander of Bureau of Foreign Affairs and Transnational Crime, alleged Ramin is part of an Iranian forgery ring under investigation since 2009. More than 1,000 foreigners are suspected of using the gang’s passports to enter Thailand and the bogus documents are believed to have been sold to more than 3,000 buyers in 14 countries at an average of $1,000 each.
Police said they are still hunting for an additional 10 suspects.