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  1. #1
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    Thailand : Exim bank to complete Burma loan

    Exim bank to complete Burma loan

    Govt to boost economic ties with junta
    Sunday March 16, 2008
    By Post reporters

    The Export-Import Bank of Thailand is cleared to hand Burma any remaining funds from a four-billion-baht soft loan to the junta that had been suspended due to alleged irregularities, Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama said yesterday.

    Thailand will also push ahead with construction of the Tasang hydropower dam and other infrastructure projects in Burma, he added.

    The fresh move came as Thailand tried to foster closer economic ties with Burma following the first official visit to the country on Friday by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej since he took office last month.

    The issue of outstanding money from the loan was not tabled for discussion when Mr Samak and other Thai officials met with Burma's junta leaders including Sen Gen Than Shwe on Friday in the country's new capital of Naypyidaw.

    Asked in Bangkok about the future of the loan meant to help improve Burma's infrastructure facilities, Mr Noppadon said the government will not allow political wrangles in Thailand to obstruct attempts to strengthen relations with Burma and other neighbours.

    Thailand's internal problems ''have no effect on the right of Burma to get the money,'' he told a press conference.

    It remains unclear how much of the four-billion-baht loan has yet to be handed to the ruling junta in Burma.

    Mr Noppadon said yesterday that only one billion baht had been given to Burma so far; however, the bank said in a statement released in September last year that all but 341 million baht of the loan had already been handed over.

    The loan was signed between the Export-Import Bank of Thailand and the Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank in June 2004, when then premier Thaksin Shinawatra was in power.

    However, the military-appointed Assets Scrutiny Committee (ASC), set up by the coup makers after ousting Thaksin's government from power in 2006, agreed in August last year to press criminal charges against the former premier for alleged abuse of his position in ordering a one-billion-baht increase in the amount of the loan, allegedly for the benefit of his family's satellite and broadband businesses.

    The additional money was approved for the Burmese government to develop telecommunications facilities, including buying goods and services from the satellite broadband and fibre-optic firm Shin Satellite Co, according to the ASC.

    The panel has not yet forwarded the charges on the loan to prosecutors.

    snip

    bangkokpost.com


    ..................................


    and this from Oct '07 ...........


    Ex-Cabinet Secretary-General says Mr Thaksin was the one who approved more loans to Myanmar
    30 October 2007

    Former Secretary-General of the Cabinet, Bovornsak Uwanno (บวรศักดิ์ อุวรรณโณ), tells the Assets Examination Committee that deposed premier Thaksin Shinawatra approved an increase in loan to Myanmar from three billion to four billion baht before the Cabinet reviewed the matter.

    Sak Korsaengruang (สัก กอแสงเรือง), chairman of AEC’s subcommittee investigating the 4-billion baht loan released to Myanmar by the Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM), reports that Mr Bovornsak has provided useful information and certified the Cabinet's resolution which authorized the loan increase.

    Myanmar is required to pay 3% interest to EXIM Bank which has to pay an interest of 4-5% to other financial institutions.

    thainews.prd.go.th

  2. #2
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    AEC is poised to prosecute Thaksin for the EX-IM Bank Burma deal
    March 24, 2008


    The Assets Examination Committee has scheduled Monday to rule on the prosecution of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra for abuse of power relating to his involvement in the extending of Bt 4 billion by the EX-IM Bank to Burma.

    AEC panel chairman Sak Korsaengruang said he would recommend for the trial of Thaksin as the sole defendant for increasing the loan from Bt3 billion in order to finance a telecom deal with Shin Satellite, seen as linked to his family.

    The deal caused Bt99 million in damages computed from the interest subsidy paid by the Finance Ministry to make the soft loan available.

    nationmultimedia.com

  3. #3
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    this is kinda long so skip to the last paragraph for the sting .............




    Did Thaksin really push the original loan for personal gain? Stay tuned for courtroom drama



    Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej has cleared the way to pay the remainder of a controversial US$120 million soft loan by the Export-Import Bank of Thailand to the Burmese government that played a role in the political demise of Samak’s predecessor, ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

    Samak's order clearing the release of the remaining funds came one day after his return from a March 15 meeting with Burma's top leader, Senior General Than Shwe, in the Burmese capitol Naypyidaw.

    Noppadon Pattama, Thailand’s foreign minister and former lawyer for Thaksin, said the loan was revived because "political wrangles" should not get in the way of building ties with neighbors. "Thailand's internal problems have no effect on the right of Burma to get the money," he said.

    Thailand's Assets Examination Committee alleges that Thaksin abused his powers in increasing the loan in order to benefit Shin Satellite, a subsidiary of his family business, Shin Corp. Following the 2006 coup that ousted him, the loan was suspended due to allegations that Thaksin's business interests would profit from the loan.

    In addition to the potential profit Shin Corp – now owned by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings ‑ may receive out of the renewed loan, the new Thai government seems keen on assisting Burma's military rulers any way they can. The clearance for the loan followed comments by Samak that Burma was a country at peace because it is run by a regime of meditating Buddhists and that, "killings and suppression are normal there." Noppadon, during a visit to the United States, furthered stepped up Thailand's engagement policy with Burma by telling reporters,

    "We have to help Burma and engage them," he told reporters following a meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in which he reportedly said US sanctions against Burma would achieve nothing and encouraged the US to engage in multinational talks instead.

    The assets body is set to rule on Monday whether Thaksin will have to stand trial for his involvement in the soft loan to Burma. Sak Korsaengruang, the assets panel chairman, said he would recommend that Thaksin be tried as the sole defendant. The committee had previously agreed to press criminal charges against Thaksin in August 2007.

    The loan is one of four charges laid against Thaksin for abuse of authority during his time in power. The charges are all related to alleged concealment of shareholdings in Shin Corp and his administration's alleged favoritism towards what was then the family telecoms empire. Together the charges carry the possibility of 26 years of imprisonment. Shin Corporation was sold to Temasek Holdings of Singapore in January 2006. Whether the sale of Shin Corp was improper is one of the charges being investigated by the AEC and US$2.1 billion of the $2.3 billion Thaksin's family gained from the sale has been frozen.

    The investigation into the Burma loan centers on Thaksin's alleged role in ordering the Exim bank to lend an additional $28.8 million on top of $96 million already loaned to the Burmese government to improve its telecommunications infrastructure. According to the asset committee’s secretary, Kaewsan Atipho, the loan came with the condition that Burma buy materials and services from Shin Corp's subsidiary, Shin Satellite Plc, a satellite, broadband internet and fiber optic firm.

    Thailand's Matichon newspaper reported in August 2004 that Burma's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications had requested funding for three telecommunications projects worth over $30 million as a part of the Exim Bank's loan. The reportedly used the loan to buy telecom equipment to link up with the iPSTAR satellite owned by Shin Satellite and used the satellite's services to provide mobile phone and broadband internet services.

    Thaksin's role allegedly not only allowed Shin Satellite to profit from the purchase of goods and services by the Burmese government, but also transferred any business risk from the project to the Finance Ministry. The Finance Ministry is legally responsible for risk surety on loans made by the Exim Bank and the AEC estimates that the deal caused $3.2 million in damages from the interest subsidy paid by the Finance Ministry to make the loan available.

    Following the loan agreement, Shin Satellite leased satellite services for broadband internet and telephone services to Bagan Cybertech Ltd. in 2004. The company was nationalized and placed under the control of Mynamar Post and Telecommunications in 2005 after its owner, Ye Naing Win, son of deposed Prime Minister Khin Nyunt, was jailed on corruption charges.

    Although Thaksin and his lawyers maintain that the former premier had nothing to do with the loan, former Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai told the assets committee on April 30 2007 that Thaksin himself gave the order to lend Burma the money. Surakiart, who was Thaksin's foreign minister at the time, claims the loan was given over his objections that the funds were going to be used by the Burmese for leasing satellite transmission signals from a satellite owned by Thaksin's family. He also claimed that Thaksin not only ordered the approval of the loan but for the Exim Bank to increase the loan by $28.8 million so Burma could buy extra telecoms equipment and services from Thailand.

    The loan proposal was reportedly approved in February 2004 and an agreement was signed with the Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank (MFTB) in June 2004. The soft loan was granted at special interest rates of 3 percent per annum with a five year grace period on payment of the principal. The money was to be used by the MFTB to allocate loans to various Burmese agencies to purchase capital goods and services from Thailand. The original loan was for road construction and infrastructure improvement and the Exim Bank argued the loan would create jobs and income for 16 Thai export firms as well as boost ties with a neighbor.

    Thaksin sued the assets committee in August 2007 for defamation, accusing the spokesperson for the committee of telling reporters that Thaksin ordered the loan increase. The papers allege that this caused the public to falsely believe Thaksin ordered the increase for personal gain. The suit claims the loan was based on a contract between the Exim Bank and the Burmese government and Thaksin had no power over the decision.

    Thaksin has asked for compensation of $45 million with interest

    What remains unclear is how much of the Bt4 billion (US$126.9 million in current dollars) remains unpaid. Noppadon has said that only $32 million has been given so far. The Exim Bank, however, said in a September 2007 statement that all but $11 million had already been given.

    asiasentinel.com

  4. #4
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Just listening to piggy rant about what a good neighbour Burma makes me want to puke.

    "Oh, if we need electricity they give it to us" (paraphrasing)

    So, a good neighbour is one who can do what it wants to its population as long as it serves the requirements one has.

    Friggin' disgrace . . . indicative of the general attitude of Thais.

  5. #5
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    Thai anti-graft body wants former PM Thaksin prosecuted for loan to Myanmar

    March 31, 2008




    BANGKOK, Thailand: A Thai anti-corruption body has recommended that former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra be prosecuted in connection with a soft loan to Myanmar for communications satellite services.

    The Assets Examination Committee, established after Thaksin was deposed by a September 2006 military coup, announced Monday that it had found that the 2004 loan by the Export-Import Bank of Thailand was meant to benefit the Shin Satellite company, which was owned by Thaksin's family.

    Thaksin was prime minister at the time the loan was approved.

    The case is the fourth against Thaksin forwarded to state prosecutors.

    iht.com

  6. #6
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    Thaksin to issue statement to defend himself related to soft loan for Burma
    April 1, 2008


    Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra will issue a statement to deny corruption allegations involving Bt4-billion soft loan to Burma, his lawyer said Tuesday.

    Chatthip Tanthaprasat, a lawyer of Thaksin, said the former prime minister would issue a statement to defend himself now that the Assets Examination Committee decided to indict him related to the loan.

    A panel headed by Sak Korsaengreung will recommend to the attorney-general within two weeks that Thaksin be charged with violating Articles 152 and 157 of the Criminal Code, for dereliction of duty and malfeasance by seeking a vested interest for the Shinawatra family.

    The panel alleged Thaksin had instructed Export-Import Bank of Thailand to extend the loan to Burma to secure business interests of Shin Satellite (ShinSat) and Shin Corp, which be-longed to Thaksin's family.

    But Chatthip said Thaksin was empowered by the law to provide the loan because the Burmese government extended Thailand an exclusive right to develop a natural gas reserve site in Burma.

    He said the Burmese government used the loans to buy equipment from Shin Satellite on its own and Thaksin had sold his shares in the company.

    nationmultimedia.com

  7. #7
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    classic- connection of private interest and political position. Ah, what was it called again?

  8. #8
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    Malfeasance charges filed against Thai ex-PM
    Fri 11 Apr 2008

    Thailand's Assets Examination Committee (AEC) Thursday filed malfeasance charges against former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, alleging he was involved in a 4-billion-baht (about 127 million U.S. dollars) bank loan for Myanmar.

    The spokesman of the Office of Attorney General (OAG), Thanapit Mulpreuk, said the Office would handle the 1,300-page case submitted by AEC at a swifter pace because Thaksin is the only defendant in the case, according to Thai News Agency.

    Thaksin, who was ousted in a military coup in September 2006 and remained in exile overseas until his return to Thailand this February, has been alleged of damaging state interests and abusing his powers to streamline the Export-Import Bank of Thailand's loan for Myanmar to buy telecom products from the Thaksin family business Shin Satellite Company.

    The spokesman did not say how soon OAG would get through the deliberation process over the malfeasance charges against Thaksin before it may be forwarded to the court.

    However, the AEC might act on its own by directly filing a lawsuit in court, should the OAG decide to drop it, he said.

    Thaksin had, upon his return after 17 months' exile, reported to the Supreme Court and the OAG to face charges of corruption and abuse of power concerning a Bangkok land deal by his wife Pojaman in 2003, and an asset-concealing case in the family's SC Asset company.

    He was released on bail by the two legal bodies.

    Source:Xinhua

  9. #9
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    Update: Thai loan to Myanmar helped Thaksin business: judge
    February 26, 2010

    BANGKOK - A state bank loan of US$121 million to Myanmar agreed by the government of ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra for satellite services benefited his business, a judge said on Friday, adding to a list of findings that could lead to the confiscation of his family's frozen wealth.

    The loan 'was beneficial to Thaicom and Shin Corp', one of the Supreme Court judges said in reading the verdict. A final ruling on whether to confiscate all or some of the US$2.3 billion in Shinawatra family assets was due later.

    Prosecutors had said Mr Thaksin was behind the decision to grant the low-interest loan from the Export-Import Bank of Thailand to Myanmar's government in 2004 to buy services and equipment from Shin Satellite, now Thaicom, a unit of Shin Corp, a telecoms firm then owned by his family.

    The court earlier said Mr Thaksin had concealed his Shin Corp shares while in office and geared government telecom and satellite policies to favour the company.

    businesstimes.com.sg

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