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Thai bank asked to release money from Thaksin


August 25, 2008

Thai bank asked to release money from Thaksin’s frozen account
Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank said it would seek a board decision over a government request to release 12 billion baht ($353 million) from frozen accounts of the family of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, reported Reuters.

SCB said in a statement on Sunday that a letter from the Revenue Department received late on Friday demanded the bank to transfer the money to the department.

The statement came after newspapers reports said the government was allegedly seeking to return the money to two adult children of Thaksin Shinawatra later.

The Revenue Department has ordered Thaksin's son and daughter to pay income tax of 12 billion baht from their earnings from Shin Corp SHIN.BK share transactions in January, 2006, one local newspaper reported on Saturday.

Once the bank handed the money to the Revenue Department, the department's appeal panel could rule on whether the Shinawatra siblings were required to pay tax, the paper said.

Prosecutors are due on Monday to ask the Supreme Court to seize Thaksin's 76 billion baht assets frozen in Thai bank accounts, shortly after he was ousted in a 2006 coup.

Thaksin, who skipped bail earlier this month and flew to London, plans to seek political asylum in Britain, his lawyer said on Wednesday, but did not specify what reason Thaksin would use for his asylum request.

The Supreme Court issued arrest warrants for Thaksin and his wife, Potjaman, and seized 13 million baht ($385,000) in bail bonds after he failed to appear in a corruption case on August 11.

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