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Two years in jail for American caught at Glasgow Airport with 160 fake passports

21.04.06

A Vietnam veteran caught at Glasgow Airport with 160 fake passports has been jailed for 2 years at the High Court in Edinburgh. Gerald Fredericks, 60, a US citizen who had been livign in Thailand, admitted 'furthering' people trafficking by supplying fake passports.

Lord Glennie, the judge, accepted Fredericks may have been 'a small cog' in a bigger operation, but described the offence as 'very serious' and said the prison sentence was a 'punishment and deterrent'.

Fredericks was searched after arriving at Glasgow airport on 11 January when he arrived on a flight from his adopted home in Bangkok, Thailand. A total of 160 fake blank EU French passports were found in his luggage. He told police he was originally asked to fly to London but said he would not go to Heathrow airport because of security.

Defence solicitor advocate Denis Coffield said that Frederick's position was that he was helping people to improve their lives. He added said: 'It was not involving groups such as al-Qaeda or others. It was an economic crime and not a terrorism crime.'

A deportation order has been served on Fredericks and Mr Coffield said he wished to resume his life in Thailand as soon as possible.

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