Germany investigating Thaksin’s illegal visa
Germany blacklisted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra in December last year, but he was later illegally issued a residence visa, the foreign minister’s secretary Chawanon Intarakomalsut said on Tuesday
The German government was investigating who issued Thaksin the residency permit , he said.
Thaksin had no right to it as he had already been blacklisted. The German government was also investigating Thaksin’s activities during his subsequent visits to the country, Mr Chawanon said.
“The German government has given an undertaking that neither it nor the EU government will interfere in the internal matters of other countries and will not allow anyone to use their countries as a base to attack other countries,” he sad.
The Munich newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported that Thaksin had obtained a 90-day visit to Germany last northern summer.
Then, on Dec 29 last year, he obtained a one-year residency permit in Bonn, where he picked it up in person. It also said that the permit was cancelled on Berlin’s instructions on May 28.
The newspaper said that the discovery that a Bonn immigration office had issued Thaksin a permit triggered interagency suspicions in the German federal government.
Neither the Foreign MInistry nor the BND, the German goivernment’s foreign intelligence service, had known about the permit.
Bangkok Post, Published 9/06/09
Germany ‘blacklists’ Thaksin
Germany has blacklisted fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra and vowed to arrest him if he enters the country with a resident permit that was issued illegally, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
Chawanon Intarakomarasut, secretary to Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya and spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the ministry had obtained a letter from the German Embassy explaining the situation.
Chawanon said, according to the embassy, the German government had put Thaksin on its “national exemption” persona non grata list in December last year, following his repeated phone-in addresses to anti-government rallies by his supporters in Thailand.
It was found later that Thaksin carried a resident permit to stay in Germany.
The German embassy explained in its letter to the foreign ministry that given the federal government’s ban, the permit was considered illegally issued. Thaksin had not formally informed the federal government about his trip to Germany and its authorities were investigating the matter.
“In addition to rescinding his Schengen visa [for travel in European Union countries], Germany also cancelled Thaksin’s resident permit,” said Chawanon.
“The German authorities said they and the EU governments will not allow any individual to use their countries as a base to attack another country. They also said that if Thaksin returns to Germany, they will detain him,” he said.
By The Nation
Published on June 10, 2009
Germany bans Thaksin
Bangkok – Thailand’s globe-trotting, fugitive former leader Thaksin Shinawatra is no longer welcome in Germany and will be arrested if he returns there, a foreign ministry official said on Wednesday.
The Foreign Ministry was notified about the ban in an official letter from the German Embassy last week, said Chavanont Intarakomalyasut, a ministry spokesperson.
“I have been told by the embassy that if Thaksin enters Germany again he will be detained,” Chavanont told The Associated Press.
The ban strikes another country off the map for Thaksin, who continues to roam the globe with a variety of passports and elude Thai authorities who say they are trying to extradite him.
Britain revoked Thaksin’s visa in November 2008, a month after a Thai court convicted him of corruption and sentenced the tycoon to two years in prison. That ban blocked Thaksin from returning to his posh London town house where he had been living in self-imposed exile.
Thaksin’s international wanderings followed his ouster in a 2006 coup after six years as prime minister.
The 59-year-old former telecommunications tycoon has been on the run on-and-off since the coup, surfacing most recently in Dubai, Nicaragua and Liberia in pursuit of investment opportunities. He has also been spotted playing golf in Bali, shopping at upscale malls in Hong Kong and on trips to China and Australia.
Thailand revoked Thaksin’s personal and diplomatic passports, but he has acquired passports from Nicaragua and Montenegro. A Thaksin aide said last month he was considering buying a resort island in the tiny Balkan state, despite claims he was short on cash because the Thai government had frozen his assets.
A German Embassy spokesperson did not immediately return calls regarding the ban, which the Foreign Ministry said was issued in December.
It was not immediately clear if the ban was prompted by heated political protests that had gripped Thailand in December, which the government said had been stoked by Thaksin from overseas. Despite his conviction, Thaksin retains support from rural voters who benefited from his policies of universal health care and low-interest loans for the poor.
Germany placed Thaksin on a “national exemption” list in December that barred him from entering the country, said Chavanont.
German authorities then learned that Thaksin had entered the country using a so-called Schengen visa, travelling by car from a neighbouring country and had received a one-year Bonn residency permit on December 29, said Chavanont. The visa allows travel between more than a dozen European Union countries that have lifted land border checks.
“The federal government of Germany ordered the Bonn authorities to revoke the resident permit on May 28,” Chavanont said.
Germany blacklists Thailand’s fugitive Thaksin
By Darren Schuettler, REUTERS
BANGKOK (Reuters) – Germany has revoked a residence permit held by fugitive Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a German diplomat said on Wednesday, the latest country to shun the former leader who fled a two-year jail term at home.
Thaksin, who was ousted in a 2006 coup and lives in self-imposed exile, entered Germany late last year and acquired the permit from authorities in the city of Bonn.
“We asked Bonn to revoke the permit and they responded immediately and revoked the permit,” Hanns Schumacher, Germany’s ambassador to Thailand, told Reuters.
The former telecoms tycoon, who led Thailand for nearly six years, has seen his living options reduced since Britain revoked his visa last year after he was convicted on conflict of interest charges.
Bangkok has sought extradition agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong, where Thaksin has spent time since fleeing the country while on bail.
Despite being on a German blacklist, Thaksin entered the country on Dec. 29 using a French-issued Schengen visa, which allows a person to travel in the European Union on a single visa.
“We blacklisted Thaksin in December last year, but somehow he managed to get around it,” Schumacher said.
Thaksin then acquired a residence permit from authorities in Bonn using the address of his lawyer in Germany. Federal officials only learned about it in April and ordered it revoked.
“We informed the lawyer that the permit was revoked and should Mr. Thaksin still be in Germany, his stay would be illegal and he would face detention,” Schumacher said.
The lawyer said Thaksin had left after staying only a few days in Germany.
Thaksin’s current whereabouts are unknown, but some Thai media reports have placed the 60-year-old in the Middle East.
In April, he was in the West African country of Liberia claiming to be on the lookout for investment opportunities. That same month, the Nicaraguan government confirmed he was a “special ambassador” of the Central American country.
Thai courts have issued several arrest warrants for Thaksin, and the government revoked his passport in April, accusing him of instigating anti-government protests that turned violent and triggered a state of emergency in Bangkok.
Nearly three years after the bloodless military coup that ousted Thaksin, Thailand remains deeply divided by a political crisis that has badly damaged confidence in the export and tourism-driven economy.
In broad terms, the prolonged political crisis is a battle between the royalist elite, military and urban Thais who accused Thaksin of corruption and abuses of power during his time in office, and his supporters mainly drawn from millions of rural poor.
REUTERS / Wed Jun 10, 2009 7
Foreign Vice Minister Addresses Speculations Surrounding Thaksin’s Whereabouts
The vice minister for Foreign Affairs addressed speculations about the whereabouts of fugitive former premier, Thaksin Shinawatra.
Vice Foreign Affairs Minister Panit Vikitseth revealed that the Ministry is trying to figure out which passport Thaksin has been using to travel, since his Thai passport was revoked in April.
There has been speculation that Thaksin has travelled to various countries using a new passport, possibly issued by a foreign administration, such as Nicaragua. Some suspect he has a number of passports. When asked about the rumors that Thaksin has changed his name, Panit said it is unlikely that the government can find out about his new name, if indeed he has changed it.
The Ministry has not received any official reports regarding this matter through either diplomatic or immigration agencies. Panit revealed that so far the United Arab Emirates has denied reports that Thaksin currently resides there.
Despite reports of MPs, who support Thaksin, travelling to meet him in the UAE, Panit said the Ministry has to take them at their word out of respect in order to honour the relationship between Thailand and the UAE.With regards to the latest report by a German newspaper that Thaksin’s German one-year resident permit has been revoked, the Ministry is trying to verify the details in this report in order to find out when Thaksin travelled to Germany and if it was before his Thai passport was revoked. Within the next week, the Ministry will try to establish the details of Thaksin’s entry into Germany, which resulted in his six-month stay. They will work in close cooperation with Thai embassy in Berlin.
Panit acknowledged that there is a possibility that Thaksin entered Germany using his Thai passport. Panit emphasised that speculation about Thaksin’s new name is not as important as his movement, which could harm Thailand.
To prevent Thaksin from using foreign countries as his base to create political trouble in Thailand, the government is making finding his whereabouts and figuring out what passport he is traveling on a priority. They are working in close cooperation with the Interpol and foreign diplomatic bodies as well.
OTHER POSTS ABOUT THAKSIN’S PASSPORTS / VISAS