2 Dec 2010

False passport network broken

9:55 am on 2 December 2010

Police in Spain have disrupted what they describe as a vast network involved in supplying false passports to al-Qaeda and other groups.

Six Pakistanis and a Nigerian have been arrested in Barcelona. Two more Pakistanis and a Thai national, said to be leaders of the network, have been detained in Thailand.

The BBC reports the arrests in and around Barcelona took place late on Tuesday and early on Wednesday.

The interior ministry says the group stole passports in Barcelona, then delivered them to Thailand to be forged and passed on to al Qaeda, the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka and Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is based in Pakistan and blamed for the Mumbai attacks of 2008.

Three others - two Pakistanis and a Thai national - were held in Thailand as part of the same operation.

A three-day assault by LeT gunmen in Mumbai, India, two years ago killed 166 people.