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FBI says ‘third man’ also American, not British

BANGKOK: The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has confirmed that a third foreign suspect detained in last week’s raid on a passport forgery gang, earlier identified as British, is actually American, Thai authorities said yesterday (Sept 28).

crime, death, immigration, police,

Bangkok Post

Thursday 29 September 2016, 08:57AM

La Fon, photographed during his arrest by Tourist Police immediately after the shooting of a policeman involved in the raid on the ‘body in the freezer’ apartment. Photo: Tourist Police via Bangkok Post
La Fon, photographed during his arrest by Tourist Police immediately after the shooting of a policeman involved in the raid on the ‘body in the freezer’ apartment. Photo: Tourist Police via Bangkok Post

Maj Gen Surachet Hakpal, commander of Tourist Police Division, said the FBI has confirmed that three of the foreign suspects are American nationals.

Two of them are Aaron Thomas Gabel, 33, and Jame Douglas Eger, 66, while the third who was earlier identified as British national Peter Andrew Colter, has been identified by US authorities as Herbert Craig La Fon, 63.

Police found several passports belonging to him with different names, making it difficult to determine exactly where he came from.

According to the FBI, a federal warrant was issued for La Fon in June 1979 in Baltimore, Maryland in connection with credit card fraud. The case could not proceed after a key witness died.

Maj Gen Surachet said US authorities, however, have no information about the dismembered body found in a freezer during the raid and a CT autopsy could not identify the body.

Police are investigating whether the dismembered body could be that of a 65-year-old foreign man identified as Robert Logan Grandy who, according to La Fon, died of cancer and was cremated at a Bangkok temple in March this year.

C and C Marine

The tourist police commander insisted the three suspects are members of a passport forgery ring that uses Thailand as its base.

Lt Gen Natthathorn Prousoontorn, commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, said immigration authorities do not have La Fon’s records and it is possible he used a fake passport or entered the country illegally.

Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner Lt Gen Sanit Mahathavorn said authorities are examining the fingerprints found on the plastic bags which were used to bag the body.

He said the suspects have so far denied that the corpse was that of Mr Grandy, noting the mystery surrounding the body is expected to be solved soon now that authorities have collected the victim’s fingerprints and sent them to foreign embassies for comparison.

An initial investigation has found that the freezer was bought in 2008 by La Fon, which led to the assumption that the body was put in it about seven to eight years ago.

Read original story here.



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