Russian Arrested for Using Stolen Spanish Passport
SA KAEO – A Russian National Ayrat Khabiryanov,27, has been arrested for using a stolen Spanish passport, Thursday at a border checkpoint in Aranyaprathet district as he tried to cross into Cambodia.
Plain clothed army rangers and immigration officers working around Ayanyaprathet district spotted the man walking from the Rong Klua border market towards the Aranthaprathet immigration building on Thursday.
They stopped him at passport control and asked to check his documents, said Pol Col Pairat Pukcharoen, chief of Sa Kaeo immigration checkpoint.
Khabiryanov was detained for questioning pending verification of the seized passport by the Spanish embassy. The embassy replied that the owner of the passport had reported it lost on June 9.
The passport was in the name Arturo Ortega, according to Thai language media.
Officials took Khabiryanov for questioning at Aranyaprathet immigration office, an interpreter was present during questioning.
Khabiryanov eventually confessed he was a Russian national and had overstayed his visa in Pattaya, Chon Buri, by more than a year, the Bangkok Post Reported.
When Pattaya police launched a crackdown on foreigners residing in Thailand illegally, friends had helped him buy a fake passport from a Malaysian gang, Mr Khabiryanov said. It had cost him $10,000, according to the reports.
He was trying to leave Thailand for Cambodia when he was stopped. He denied any links with the Islamic State.
Authorities were not convinced by his denial, suspicious because he supposedly bought the passport from a gang in Malaysia.
He was being held in police custody at Khlong Luek police station to face charges of possessing and using a false passport. The investigation was continuing as Mr Khabiryanov has suspected links to the Russian Mafia and was detained in 2013 for suspected loan sharking.
The military junta has told all checkpoints to strictly check foreign nationals of countries on a secret watch list.