Man Accused Of Forging Border Passes Report Says Flee

A Cambodian Muslim accused of forging border passes was ar­rest­ed after crossing through the Poipet border checkpoint Satur­day and is expected to appear at Ban­teay Meanchey provincial court today, officials said.

The man was allegedly producing fake border passes for Cam­bo­dians planning to seek employment in Malaysia, said Pich Sa­ran, director of immigration po­lice at the Poipet checkpoint.

The suspect was arrested by Thai police, who handed him over to Cambodian police, Pich Sa­ran said, adding that the suspect had been selling real passes that people could buy and put  their own photos in. “Some border passes were fake be­cause the pictures were changed,” he said.

“When some people living in O’Chrou [district] got the passes they changed new pictures of someone else so that they could get to Thailand.”

Thai Police Lieutenant General Subin Boonlek, deputy superintendent of Klong Leuk police station in Aranyaprathet district, Trat prov­ince identified the suspect to The Nation newspaper in Thai­land as Hamas Rumree.

He said he would investigate any links to Islamic separatists in Thai­land’s south that have intensified their hit-and-run attacks on government officials and offices in recent months, The Nation re­port­ed.

The president of the Cam­bo­dian Islamic Association voiced ex­asperation that Thai authorities were again alleging a link be­tween ethnic Chams and the bloody in­sur­gency in southern Thailand.

“Our Muslims here want a peace­ful and beautiful world. We don’t like terrorism or want to de­s­troy anything,” said Vann Math, the head of the association. “We ne­ver agree with Thai officials when they say this. We are not involved.”

Bun Hor, a senior official at the Poipet checkpoint, said he was not aware of the arrest, but he said Cambodian Chams regularly cross the Thai border, traveling to find work in Malaysia.


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