Thailand orders Ample Rich directors to pay US$616 million taxes

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Thailand's anti-corruption body, the Assets Examination Committee (AEC) has instructed the country's tax authorities to issue a tax bill to the company set up by ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The amount is US$616 million, or 20.89 billion baht.

The company Ample Rich is registered in the British Virgin Islands, however the AEC stated the company could not evade corporate tax due to their operations taking place within the Kingdom of Thailand.

With two of Thaksin's children on the board of directors of the company, and earlier rulings on tax liability, the Bangkok Post reports that the total tax liability for the Shinawatra family has now risen to 27.44 billion baht.

The main reason given by the AEC for the tax bill is the underpriced selling of Shin corporation shares to the Thaksin children at 1 baht per share only days prior to the sale of the company to Temasek holdings. The actual sale of Shin Corp. sparked street protests in Bangkok as the then-Prime Minister was accused of profiting from selling a national asset after changing the law to allow the sale to be tax-free.