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Leader of passport forgery gang may face murder charge

Sep 27. 2016
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By KHANATHIT SRIHIRANDEJ

THE NATION

THE US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has confirmed that two passport forgery suspects arrested in Friday’s raid on a Bangkok building are US citizens - but the nationality and true identity of a third man, the suspected gang leader who allegedly h
Immigration Police chief Pol Lt-General Natthorn Phrosunthorn said yesterday that Aaron Thomas Gabel and James Douglas Eger had been confirmed as Americans.
But the third suspect – a man in his 50s identified as Peter William Johnson from the US or Peter Andrew Colter from Northern Ireland – would be checked out further by the FBI and embassies of countries stated in his multiple passports. 
During Friday’s raid on the building in Sukhumvit Soi 56, the dismembered body of an elderly Caucasian man was found inside a commercial refrigerator.
Prior to presiding over a meeting with investigators yesterday at Phra Khanong Police Station, city police chief Lt-General Sanit Mahathaworn said they would consider applying for an arrest warrant for ‘Colter’ for murder once they get results of forensic tests and a detailed autopsy report on the dismembered body from Chulalongkorn Hospital today.
Sanit said police had identified the person who bought the fridge one year ago, but declined to elaborate.
He said Gabel’s Thai wife told police that “Colter” asked her to arrange for a six-wheel truck to help him move belongings, including the fridge, from a rented house in Ekkamai Soi 12 to the building in Sukhumvit Soi 56 in January.
Meanwhile, police forensic officers yesterday revisited the crime scene to collect more evidence, in particular any bloodstains and fingerprints from around the fridge.
Natthorn also revealed yesterday that Immigration Police had previously arrested and currently detained around five Americans suspected of being passport forgers. It was not yet clear if they if are linked to the trio held from Friday’s raid.

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