PHUKET TOWN: Police say that a Burmese couple arrested for running an illegal lottery also ran a racket creating Thai identities for hundreds of Burmese laborers. The racket extended across four provinces and police investigations are continuing into what officers suspect may have been be a “widespread conspiracy”. The couple, named as Rujikorn Kiawchaay and his wife, Jaidee, are Burmese citizens. Rujikorn confessed that he had lived in Phuket for 12 years using fake documents that showed him to be a Thai national. Police were hoping he would name others involved in the racket. Rujikorn was arrested on Friday and, when police searched his house in Karn Kheha village, they found 200 photos of Burmese, false ID cards, name-change forms and fake driving licenses. Pol Lt Col Samarn Chainarong, Officer in Charge of Investigating Aliens in Phuket, said police found Rujikorn had appropriated the identity of a person called Sa-nguan, who died in 1997. Police believe the couple appropriated the identities of dead people to create new identities for others as well. Rujikorn said he had been in Thailand for three years before moving to Phuket. He told police he had falsified his identity because “I love Thailand, and I want to be a Thai”. The couple are now in jail facing charges of running an illegal lottery and for possession of false documents.
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