Unbelievable. Hamid Reza Jafary, 48, an Iranian man  living in Thailand for 25 years,, was arrested by the Thai police yesterday for forging passports that allowed refugees in the Middle East to travel to Europe and Australia. Tom Friedman was right: “The world is flat.”

From the Telegraph:

Thai police say they have busted an international fake passport syndicate and arrested an Iranian master forger known as “The Doctor” who was wanted in several countries including Britain.

His expertly counterfeited travel documents were custom-ordered from the Middle East to be used by thousands of people fleeing conflict zones to try to reach Europe and Australia, officials said.

Thailand has a flourishing market in bogus passports that supplies human trafficking gangs and crime and terror networks. The danger that terrorists could use fake documents to reach Europe and stage atrocities was highlighted by the Paris attacks in November.


6 accomplices, 5 from Pakistan, were arrested as well in what Thai police called  a “foreigner operated ‘fake passport factory'”:

And in what sounds like plot to a bad James Bond movie, police really had no idea of the master forger’s real identity:

“The Doctor” had kept himself away from the public eye and contacted customers only via 4-5 agents hence no one knew his face and real name.

The only thing known about him was that he was a bald Iranian in his 40s and that is the reason the police investigation took so many years, Natthorn said. Jafary, reportedly admitted to have learned forgery skills from his family.

At least they finally caught him.