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Thai court seizes S$1.96 billion of Thaksin family assets

Updated On: Feb 27, 2010

The Thai Supreme Court has ordered the seizure of 46.37 billion (S$1.96 billion) of the 76.6 billion baht (S$3.2 billion) in frozen assets belonging to the Shinawatra family.

In a marathon verdict that took seven hours to deliver, the Supreme Court said the former prime minister and one-time owner of Manchester City Football Club had concealed his ownership of shares in a family business during his five years he held the post. The nine-judge panel said Mr Thaksin's policies while in office had unduly "favoured Shin Corp at the expense of the state" and competitors in the telecommunications industry.

In one case, a loan to Burma was approved so that the Burmese government could buy equipment from Shin Corp's satellite subsidiary, and a law was amended so that Mr Thaksin could sell Shin Corp to Temasek of Singapore.

However, the court said it would be unfair to confiscate all of the 76 billion baht in frozen assets held in local banks, as requested by the Office of the Attorney-General, because part of it was acquired before Thaksin became prime minister. The Supreme Court's verdict could also lead to at least ten separate criminal cases in connection with this landmark assets-seizure case.

After the verdict was delivered, Mr. Thaksin, speaking via a videolink from Dubai, described the ruling as "very political" and "a joke for the world", and vowed to continue his fight against the Thai government.

Sources:

Court confiscates B46bn of Thaksin's assets [Bangkok Post]

Thaksin could face 10 more criminal charges [The Nation]

The seven-hour verdict that cost Thaksin $1.4bn [Independent.co.uk]

Thailand's Ousted Leader: A Billionaire No More [Time]







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