The Pakistani man arrested by Thai authorities a few days ago on the allegation of producing fake passports and other travel documents for Daesh militants is believed to have travelled to Malaysia recently to meet a man linked to Al-Qaeda.
A regional security source claimed that the man had entered Malaysia using a fake passport to meet one “Atiq,” also known as “Ghulam Farid,” a highly sought-after suspect with links to the Al-Qaeda terrorist group.
Atiq is an individual most wanted by the Spanish authorities for his alleged involvement in supplying fake travel documents to terrorist elements responsible for the 2004 bombings in Madrid which killed 191 people.
The revelation of a meeting between the Pakistani and “Atiq” in Malaysia needed to be looked into closely, said the source, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the information shared with Bernama today.
Both suspects, according to him, are believed to have well-entrenched networks in Malaysia where they are alleged to have supplied fake travel documents to elements linked with the Daesh terror group and other subversives in the country.
The Pakistani was arrested by a team of Thai policemen and soldiers in a Bangkok condominium last Sunday. The authorities found four Indian and three Singaporean fake passports on him at the time of his arrest while a search of his condominium found equipment to produce the fake documents.
A source quoted by the local media said Thai authorities have sought the help of their Malaysian counterparts to probe the Pakistani.
Thai Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan confirmed the Pakistani's arrest when queried by the media Tuesday.
Prawit, who is also the defence minister and responsible for the police, said the Pakistani was believed to have produced fake passports and other travel documents in an attempt to bring in Daesh-linked individuals from the Middle East into Thailand.
However, efforts to bring individuals with links to Daesh into Thailand failed to materialise, he added.
Meanwhile, the regional security source also told Bernama that the Pakistani was once arrested in Thailand in 2015 and repatriated to his home country.
The source also said that the Pakistani was also involved in the smuggling of fake Rupee currency into India with the assistance of two other Bangkok-based Pakistani men who have since been sent back to Pakistan by the Thai authorities.