Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Millionaire Thaksin Shinawatra, the ousted Thai Prime Minister who went on to buy Manchester City football club has been banned from Britain.
The visas for both he and his wife Pojaman were yesterday cancelled by the United Kingdom Border Agency rendering them fugitive from justice.
Today (Saturday) the couple, who have both been jailed in their absence from Thailand on fraud and corruption charges were believed to be in the Philippines.
They are expected to seek a new home in Hong Kong, or China, where their ancestors came from.

The UK Border Agency's office in the British Embassy in Bangkok circulated a memorandum to all airlines, some of which were being displayed in offices in yesterday.
Quoting Thai passport numbers D215862 and D206635 for Shinawatra and his wife the memorandum stated: 'The UK visas contained in the passports of the individuals listed above are no longer valid for travel.  Airlines are advised not to carry these passengers to the U.K.' The memo was signed by Immigration Liaison Manager Andy Grey.
The British Embassy made no further comment.

The Shinawatra's have affectively been banned from returning to their mansion in Weybridge, Surrey, or their West London apartment.
No such ban has been placed on their children who do not have any criminal convictions in Thailand.

The ban is in affect an assurance by the British Government that they respect judgments in the Thai justice system which found the couple guilty of corruption and fraud in a deal which allowed them to buy a 16 acre site from the Thai government in the centre of Bangkok at a third of its market price.  Pojoman was jailed for three years for fraud. Thaksin was jailed for two years for corruption.
The couple fled to England while on bail where Thaksin praised Britain's 'mature approach' to democracy.

Last week Thaksin Shinawatra said that many countries had offered him honorary citizenship but he preferred to live in exile in England.
He said he could only return to Thailand by popular demand or by Royal consent.

Meanwhile in Thailand tens of thousand of Thais wearing yellow in support of Thailand's King Bhumipol Adulyadej  who have for the last three months occupied government house cheered the news in the middle of a tropical downpour.
Members of the People's Alliance for Democracy had previously demonstrated outside the British Embassy in Bangkok demanding Britain send Thaksin home to face his jail sentence.

Last week some 25,000 supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra wearing read and some calling themselves  'Thaksin'sWarriors'  took over the city's Rajamangala stadium to show support for the exiled Prime Minister.

Thaksin Shinawatra sold Manchester City Football Club at a profit before it was expected that the Football Association would finally have to declare him unfit to own a football club after his convictions in Thailand.
To Manchester City fans, who could not get around to pronouncing his name, he was known simply as 'Frank' - as in Frank Sinatra.


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