Drug suspect found with 'stolen' visa

Drug suspect found with 'stolen' visa

THAILAND - A Thai visa sticker believed stolen from the Thai Embassy in Malaysia has been found in the passport of a suspected drug smuggler in Phuket, according to an informed source.

The suspect was arrested by Phuket immigration police yesterday morning on charges of possessing an undisclosed amount of cocaine.

"Further checks reveal that he entered Thailand with his passport containing one of the visa stickers that had been reported missing," the source said, adding that police were investigating the case further in a bid to nail down all accomplices.

According to the Foreign Ministry, more than 250 of the "missing" visa stickers have already been used and 105 people with passports with stolen stickers had already left the country. It was recently reported that 300 of the visa stickers disappeared from the Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

Immigration Bureau chief Pol Lt-General Panu Kerdlarppol said yesterday that 11 people with the stolen visa stickers had been arrested so far.

"Immigration officials nabbed five of them at Suvarnabhumi Airport," the immigration chief said.

Meanwhile, a source said a Thai woman referred to as "Mama" was allegedly behind this case.

"She's active in Bangkok's Pattanakarn area. She's still in Thailand," the source said.

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