LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Thai Police Nab Mysterious Master Forger Known As 'The Doctor'

Fake passports and the tools used to make them are displayed at the immigration bureau in Bangkok on Wednesday after Thai police broke up a major fake passport ring led by an Iranian known as "The Doctor."

For years, Thai police have been trying to track down a master passport forger known only as "The Doctor."

All they had was a rough description: "a bald Iranian in his 40s," Thailand's The Nation reported.

The publication says '"The Doctor' had kept himself away from the public eye and contacted customers only via 4-5 agents," so his face and name remained a mystery.

The hunt came to an end on Monday, when Thai police raided a house east of Bangkok and arrested Hamid Reza Jafary. In subsequent operations, they also arrested five Pakistanis who allegedly acted as middlemen, AFP reports.

Authorities found nearly 200 passports in the house — some completely forged, while others were real travel documents that he allegedly altered, according to AFP.

Thai officials accuse Jafary of sending "thousands of passports to Middle Eastern customers trying to enter Europe," the wire service says, though it is not clear whether any of the forged documents were used in the current massive wave of migration to Europe.

The raid also uncovered "a laser engraving machine, rolls of thin leather for passport covers and metal stamps from various countries," according to AFP.

That equipment was on display at a Wednesday press conference held by police in Bangkok.

Also on display: the man authorities say is The Doctor himself.

Photos published by The Nation show police leading a handcuffed, bald man wearing a yellow jacket into the news conference. His face is obscured by dark sunglasses and he wears a medical mask over his mouth.

Police say that Jafary "confessed to forging passports" that cost about $1,450 to $2,325, The Telegraph reports.

It adds that "Thailand has a flourishing market in bogus passports that supplies human trafficking gangs and crime and terror networks."

AFP says immigration police commander Lt. Gen. Natthorn Phrosunthorn told reporters that the suspect "used six different passports — three from Brazil, and one from each of Peru, Portugal and New Zealand. He was wanted by security agencies in many countries, especially the EU and Japan."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)