Ousted PM Thaksin bemoans freezing of Swiss assets

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Thaksin Shinawatra in 2002

Following on from the seizure of US$1.5 billion in former Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's Thai bank accounts, the ousted PM is claiming assets in Swiss bank accounts have been frozen.

When queried, the Swiss embassy in Bangkok said that there had been no request for an asset freeze, and that such action would only take place in the event of a successful prosecution.

Thaskin was removed from power in September, 2006 by Thailand's military in a bloodless coup and was accused of corruption. Aside from having his Thai accounts frozen, Thaskin is the subject of arrest warrants in Thailand for "official misconduct"; charges that he denies. "Neither my family nor I has done anything illegal," Thaskin said in a newspaper interview. "It is defamation."

On the reputation of Swiss banking discretion, Thaskin was critical. "Good old bank secrecy is no more," he commented. "Absolute discretion is a thing of the past."

The ex-premier currently resides in the United Kingdom where he has purchased Manchester City football club for £81 million.