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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Two immigration officers dismissed for visa-stamping travel documents they knew to be forged


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Two immigration police officers working at Suvarnabhumi Airport have been dismissed from the civil service over the stamping of visas in travel documents that they knew had been forged, something that they had confessed to having done 30 times, Immigration Bureau chief Pol Lt-General Surachet Hakpal told a press conference on Tuesday.

The dismissals stemmed from the earlier arrest of a 22-year-old man from Cameroon, Clinton Naseli, at the Songkhla border checkpoint over charges of forging and using fake visa documents, Surachet said.

A subsequent investigation found that Immigration police officers at Suvarnabhumi Airport had keyed Naseli’s information into the Personal Identification Blacklist Immigration Control System without his actually having yet entered the Kingdom, he said.

Immigration Division 2 in Samut Prakan’s Bang Phli district therefore filed a police complaint for legal action against the two accused officers – Pol Sgt-Major Noppadol Boonyawan, 36, and Pol Senior Sgt-Major Somyot Phumfongfoo, 38 – and their female accomplice, 37-year-old Pannita Suayngam, who allegedly collected orders and information from customers, who would pay Bt50,000 per head for forged travel documents, the Immigration Bureau chief explained.

Surachet added that since his landing the bureau’s top post last October, five immigration police officers – three at Don Mueang International Airport and the latest two at Suvarnabhumi Airport – and 37 “middle person” accomplices had been arrested over travel-document forgery, leading to the visas of some 200 foreigners being revoked.

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