Saturday, April 3, 2010

Shinawatra money 'next week'

In this February 9, 2001 file photo, Thaksin Shinawatra is surrounded by wife Pojaman (right), son Parntongtae (second right), and daughter Pintongta (left), as he makes a speech after receiving King Bhumibol Adulyadej's command appointed him the country's prime minister at his residence in Bangkok. -- PHOTO: AP

THE Thai Finance Ministry expects money transfers from the Shinawatra family's bank accounts to the treasury to be completed within the next week.

Thailand's Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij on Friday said delays so far involved the authorisations from the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Office of the Attorney-General to the ministry for the transfers.

'I instructed the director-general of the Comptroller-General's Office not to handle this under pressure. It should be completed next week,' he said.

Comptroller-general Pongpanu Savetarun said the directives to six banks that hold 31 bank accounts worth 46 billion baht (S$2 billion) should be signed on Monday. The transfers could then be electronically activated. The money will be deposited at the Bank of Thailand as non-tax government income. It is up to the government to decide whether the money is to be spent on state projects.

'Most of the foreclosed assets are cash, as only 170 million baht is in the form of shares and other securities. The securities will not be sold soon, and they will be under the State Enterprise Policy Committee's care. The sale should not take place if the current value of the securities is lower than the original value,' Mr Pongpanu said.

Siam Commercial Bank executive chairman Vichit Surapongchai said the bank was waiting for the Finance Ministry's directive, to know from which accounts the money should be transferred. He said the bank held the right to discuss the matter with the ministry if the directive was unclear, adding that it would act only in compliance with authorised agencies. -- THE NATION/ANN

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