BANGKOK – Benjamin Williams a British Expat teacher apparently altered his age in his passport so he could continue teaching at a school in Buri Ram now faces charges of passport forgery and possessing fake documents.
Benjamin Anthony Williams, 66, was arrested on Thursday by immigration officials in Surin province.
Officials suspected his passport had been tampered with when a machine could not read the information from the travel document.
They checked it with the Immigration Bureau’s data base and found that the year of birth in his passport did not match the one in the system, according to Pol Lt Col Chatchai Samneang, chief of the immigration office in Kab Choeng district on the border with Cambodia.
The data base showed he was born in 1946, but his year of birth in his passport was 1956.
Mr Williams had gone to the immigration office with Supawadee Chansame, an official of Sine Education Co, to submit his passport and other documents and renew his stay in Thailand as an English teacher at Prakon Chai Phitthaya School in adjoining Buri Ram province. The Kab Choeng office handles Buri Ram.
Mr Williams conceded to the police through Miss Supawadee, who acted as his interpreter, that he had tampered with the first page of the passport to make his age 10 years younger so that he could continue to apply for teaching jobs with the recruitment firm.
Mr Williams’ real age is 66 but the one in the passport is 56.
Sine Education, which recruits foreigners to teach English at Thai schools, caps the age limit of applicants at 60.
Pol Lt Col Chatchai said Mr Williams was handed over to Kab Choeng district police for legal action over forging of a passport and possessing fake documents.