Thaksin Shinawatra is now carrying six passports issued by foreign countries, Puea Thai MP chief Chalerm Yubamrung says.
Mr Chalerm recently visited the former prime minister in Dubai but was unable to give details of which countries had issued Thaksin with the passports.
Nicaragua reportedly issued Thaksin with a diplomatic passport when he was selected to promote the country’s trade and investment.
Thaksin may also have obtained a passport from Montenegro. Mr Chalerm yesterday confirmed Thaksin planned to buy an island off the Montenegrin coast in the Adriatic Sea.
Mr Chalerm said his trip to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) focused on business opportunities. No political issues were raised with Thaksin, he said.
Thaksin often travelled from place to place in a helicopter he bought from the owner of the luxury Harrods store in London, Mr Chalerm said.
The former prime minister is living in exile after fleeing the country while awaiting trial on charges of abuse of power while in office over the Ratchadaphisek land deal.
Thaksin is reportedly based in Dubai where he has major business interests.
The government has tried to restrict his movements by cancelling his Thai passport.
Mr Chalerm insisted he had no idea if Jakrapob Penkair, a co-leader of the anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), was staying with Thaksin.
Mr Jakrapob fled Thailand after the Songkran riots to escape charges that he and his fellow UDD leaders had instigated violence.
Meanwhile, Pol Maj Gen Visanu Prasartthong-osod, chief of the Royal Thai Police Office’s foreign affairs division, said the latest checks had found Thaksin had entered the UAE and there was no evidence he had left again. If he had left, he might have done so using a different name.
The foreign affairs division has asked Interpol’s UAE branch to check if Thaksin has travelled under another name.Pol Maj Gen Visanu believed Thaksin was still in the UAE, using it as a base to contact his supporters in Thailand.
He said his division had yet to translate copies of Thaksin’s interviews with foreign media considered to be defamatory to the monarchy.
Suthep sceptical on claim for Thaksin holding Cambodian passport
Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thuagsuban on Friday dismissed the claim that ex-premier Shinawatra Thaksin was holding a Cambodian passport among his six to seven travel documents.
“I was told by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen himself that there was no issuing a passport for Thaksin,” Suthep said.
He was reacting to remarks by Pheu Thai MP Chalerm Yoobamrung who said Thaksin showed him the Cambodian passport during their meeting last week in Dubai.
Thaksin no Cambodian passport
The six passports that former premier Thaksin Shinawatra is reportedly now carrying do not include a Cambodian passport, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said on Friday.
Leading Puea Thai MP Chalerm Yubamrung told reporters on Thursday that the governments of six countries had issued passports to Thaksin, and confirmed Nicaragua was one of them.
Mr Suthep said had spoken to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who had confirmed that Phnom Penh had not given Thaksin a passport.
The deputy prime minister again insisted that relations between the coalition parties were good and that none of them had a problem working with the Democrat party.
He played down the appearance of Democrat MP Surasit Trithong at the Bhumjaithai party meeting on Thursday, saying he did not believe any MPs wanted to leave the Democrat party for the Bhumjaithai party.
He also said he did not expect a general election any time soon, and he did not expect the move to register the People’s Alliance for Democracy as a political party would have any significant effect on support for the Democrat party.
Ex-premier Thaksin has no German passport : embassy
Thai government believes Cambodia’s prime minister Hun Sen no Khmer passport for Thaksin : Suthep
The German embassy in Bangkok yesterday denied press reports that fugitive former premier Shinawatra Thaksin held a German passport, among others.
“Mr Shinawatra Thaksin does not hold a German passport,” spokesman Theodor Proffe said.
Several Thai newspapers yesterday published stories quoting Chalerm Yoobamrung as saying the ousted premier held six foreign passports, including ones from Germany and Cambodia.
Chalerm, a member of the proThaksin Pheu Thai Party, told local newspapers about Thaksin’s many passports after visiting the former prime minister in Dubai.
It had previously been rumoured that Thaksin had been granted passports by Nicaragua and Montenegro.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said yesterday that he believed Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s statement that Cambodia had not issued a passport to Thaksin.
“I met Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen,” Suthep said. “He said Thaksin did not hold a Cambodian passport. I believe that, and I didn’t investigate the claim further.”
Suthep was reacting to remarks by Chalerm Yoobamrung, who said Thaksin had showed him a Cambodian passport among six or seven passports during their meeting last week in Dubai.
In regard to extradition proceedings for Thaksin to be brought back to serve his two-year jail term, Suthep said: “Just wait and see.”
By Deutsche Presse Agentur
Published on May 23, 2009
Thaksin, The European
With his latest acquisition of yet another, this time Montenegrin passport – these things don’t come for free – former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has not only become a European citizen who could proudly say – based loosely on JFK’s famous speech – Ich bin ein Europäer.
Thaksin has strengthened his position as Thailand’s first truly multinational former head of government. Add the old Thai and newer Nicaraguan and possibly other passports – and you got a true cosmopolitan. I wonder what the Thai constitution says about higher offices and multiple citizenships.
But that many passports can bring you only that much personal freedom. If he’s leaving the hideout wherever he resides his lawyers must be busy planning secure escape routes. An emergency landing with his private jet, an unforseen regulation – and Thaksin could soon be the world’s most famous extradition prisoner.
Thaksin would be the modern world’s first former prime minister and alleged criminal who manages to escape “justice” over a longer period of time, just to mention Fujimori who dared to live a life on the run.
With his new Balkan passport Thaksin inherits a very own Balkanization.
Thaksin was once told by some famous fortune teller that one day he’ll live in exile and lose everything. Thaksin still fights the exception that proves the rule that a man forges his own destiny.