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article imageCourt seizes US$1.4 billion from former Thai Prime Minister

By Igor I. Solar     Feb 26, 2010 in World
Bangkok - The Division for Holders of Political Posts of the Supreme Court of Thailand seized today THB 46.3 billion (about US$ 1.4 billion) from former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
A total of 76.6 billion bahts of Thaksin’s assets held in local banks had been frozen by the Thai government until a decision on the legality of the money was decided by the Court. Thaksin was allowed to keep about THB 30.7 billion (more than US$925 million), which the court decided were his assets by the time he became Thailand’s Prime Minister in 2001.
The Criminal Court of 9 judges determined, in a verdict that took about 7 hours to read, that Thaksin and his ex-wife Potjaman na Pombejra unlawfully acquired the money from the sale of their shares in Shin Corporation to Singapore's Temasek Holdings while Thaksin was still in office as PM. Thaksin had previously declared that he had transferred his 48% ownership of Shin Corporation to his son, daughter and other relatives before he ran for office in 2001.
Mr. Thaksin was Thailand’s Prime Minister until 2006 when the military deposed him in a bloodless coup. In 2007 he purchased Manchester City soccer club for US$ 125.6 million. A year later he sold the club to investors from Abu Dhabi for a reported US$305.6 million. In 2008 a Thai court found him guilty of corruption when he facilitated, while he was Prime Minister, a real estate transaction at below market price benefiting his wife. He was sentenced in absentia to two years in prison.
Thaksin has been in exile in Dubai, where he received the news about the seizure of the funds. On knowing about the court’s decision, Thaksin declared that the ruling was an “international yoke”, unfair and politically motivated. He called his supporters, known as the “red-shirts” to continue their fight for democracy. Still, he declared that he will accept the verdict and asked the “red-shirts” to act rationally and avoid violence. Thaksin insists in his innocence by saying that he “would die within seven days if it was true he gained his assets illegally”.
For more details see: Judgment Day: Aftermath: Everything about the Bt76.6 billion asset seizure case – background, analysis, latest updates and multimedia at: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/thaksin-judgement-day/
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