The search of ex-premier Thaksin Shinwatra has been made more difficult because he has used different names while travelling, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said yesterday.
He said the name changes added to the problems of investigators, making it harder for the government to arrest Thaksin.
Reacting to Abhisit’s remark, former Thai Rak Thai Party deputy secretary-general Dr Surapong Suebwongleesaid the premier should ensure he had accurate information before making such a statement. He said it was extremely difficult for celebrities, especially former prime ministers, to use fake names on passports or visas. “The best way is to avoiding giving information, if you cannot supply correct information,” he said.
By The Nation
Published on June 8, 2009
Ministry probes Thaksin’s aliases
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is urgently investigating former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s aliases while travelling, Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said.
Mr Kasit said before making an official visit to Malaysia with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Monday morning that the government had been closely monitoring the fugitive politician’s movement abroad.
The minister said he did not know how many fake names Thaksin was using.
After Mr Abhisit claimed that Thaksin was using fake names while travelling, former Thai Rak Thai secretary-general Surapong Suebwonglee said the premier should be more careful and look into the facts before making such allegation.
He said using fake passports and names would not be easy, especially for Thaksin who is recognised worldwide
Ex-premier Thaksin may have entered UAE under alias
BANGKOK, June 8 (TNA) – Ousted former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra may have entered the United Arab Emirates (UAE) under another name earlier this year, a senior Thai government official said on Monday.
Panich Vikitsreth, an assistant to the Thai foreign affairs minister, said the UAE government had reaffirmed to Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs that it would not allow anyone to use the country as a springboard to attack another country.
Mr. Panich said that the UAE foreign minister informed him that Mr. Thaksin had left the country on April 20.
However, some reports that the former prime minister, ousted in a bloodless coup in September 2006, was seen in UAE, so it is possible that Mr. Thaksin had re-entered the country under an assumed name, Mr. Panich said, noting that the UAE is investigating the reported sightings.
Reiterating that the foreign ministry closely watches the movements of Mr. Thaksin on a regular basis, Mr. Panich said the UAE government had sent a draft extradition treaty to the Thai Foreign Affairs Ministry last month and that Thai officials are reviewing details of the draft, which might take some time.
An extradition treaty with Hong Kong where Mr. Thaksin was a frequent visitor is expected to be completed soon, he said.
His remarks were made after Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Sunday that Mr. Thaksin now travels internationally using aliases, making it more difficult to locate and return him to Thailand to serve his jail sentence.
A Thai court in October last year sentenced Mr. Thaksin in absentia to two years prison for abuse of power, for allowing his then wife to bid on a plot of Bangkok land at a government auction in 2003, while he was a prime minister.
Mr. Abhisit said his government had sought cooperation from Interpol to track the ousted premier, but that the problem of Mr. Thaksin’s false names remains a complicating factor. (TNA)
Gen. Songkitti denied knowledge of Thaksin’s use of pseudo name in passports
BANGKOK, 8 June 2009 (NNT) – Supreme Commander General Songkitti Jaggabatara denied knowledge in the report that fugitive ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra might use other names in his passports while commenting that the Government had been on the right direction with its policies to deal with unrest in the South.
Following the report that Mr. Thaksin might have used pseudo names in his passports to enter countries, the Supreme Commander stated that he had no knowledge on the matter. He refused to comment on the government’s operations to arrest the fugitive ex-PM, citing military staff should not be involved in politics.
Nonetheless, Gen. Songkitti stated that the government’s policies to deal with unrests in the deep South were in the right direction and believed that the situation would get much better if the operation plans were maintained.
The Supreme Commander was scheduled to attend a meeting of the committee for border and minority-related policies in the southern Province of Ranong today.
PM Denies Having Knowledge of Thaksin’s German Visa Cancellation
The Prime Minister denies having any knowlegde regarding a report that Germany has cancelled the visa of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, saying that the Foreign Affairs Ministry is working in cooperation with related international agencies to bring Thaksin to justice.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva stated he has no knowledge regarding a report that the German administration has nullified the ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s visa, adding that he has not recieved any reports of Thaksin travelling to Germany.
Abhisit said the Foreign Ministry is working in cooperation with related agencies such as Interpol and countries that Thailand has diplomatic relations with, in an effort not to allow Thaksin to use their countries as bases to attack Thailand.
He admitted that it would be difficult to have Thaksin extradited, as he might assume a new name. Another concern is that bilateral agreements regarding extradition between Thailand and other countries must be created, which is not easy to do.
A newspaper titled Sueddeutsche Zeitung in Berlin reported that Thaksin Shinawatra had obtained a one-year residency permit in Bonn in December of last year and that the passport in question was cancelled on May 28 after an investigation by German administration.
The same source also reported that after Thaksin’s British visa was revoked, while he was in France, he petititoned for a 90-day visa to travel in Europe. He then resided in Bonn on the Rhine river last summer where the residency permit was issued.
Reportedly, on December 29 of last year Thaksin, accompanied by German escorts, visited an immigration office in Bonn to apply for a one-year residency permit with a Nicaraguan diplomatic passport.
A desk clerk at the office said one of the people on his escort team claimed he had connections with the German intelligence agency, BND. This has led to German diplomats to accuse the BND of engineering the visa.
The Foreign Ministry has received confirmation from the United Arab Emirates that fugitive ex-premiere Thaksin Shinawatra had left the country last month. However, Thai authorities believe Thaksin is currently in Dubai, assuming so he most likely changed his name and applied for a new foreign passport to enter the country.
There is not sufficient information to prove ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra has travelled under different names – although he has used many foreign passports, Vice Foreign Minister Panich Vikitsreth said yesterday.