Two French men have been arrested in Thailand and France on suspicion of selling fake ID cards online. The Thai authorities say the men are members of a gang producing the fake identity cards.
Officers from the Technology Crime Suppression Division were acting on a tip-off from the French Embassy. It’s understood the suspects were selling French ID cards on the dark web. The cards were being shipped from Thailand by a 51 year old man named only as Mr Francois. The French national has been living in Chiang Mai for around 15 years with his Thai wife and daughter.
The French and Thai authorities launched a joint investigation and Thai officers obtained search warrants for two properties in Chiang Mai. They first searched Mr Francois’s house in the Hang Dong district. It’s understood that only his wife and daughter were present at the time, as the French man had returned to his home country.
His wife, named as Mrs. Wichiraphan, says her husband doesn’t have any regular employment but teaches languages to children through a local foundation. She admits that he has always been able to support his family financially but she never knew where the money came from.
During their search, officers confiscated evidence of the production of fake ID cards, including computers, laminating equipment, printers, paper cutters, passbooks, and logo stamps. They also seized cryptocurrency paperwork and data storage devices.
Officers also searched a second property in the Nong Pa Khrang district of Chiang Mai, where a 33 year old French resident, named only as Mr Jonathan, is suspected of selling fake IDs through cryptocurrency. Officers seized computers and tablets during the search. According to a Khaosod English report, Mr Jonathan teaches at the same foundation as Mr Francois.
The Thai authorities are now liasising with their French counterparts, who are expected to charge Mr Francois. He was arrested in France at the end of 2023.
SOURCE: Khaosod English