Montenegrin Police has confirmed that Mr Thaksin Shinawatra arrived in Montenegro on March 13th 2010, with his private airplane from Dubai. Police stated that “Mr Shinawatra is a holder of Montenegrin passport and he currently resides in Montenegro”.
Hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters have once again assembled in Thailand’s capital to give support to Thaksin Shinawatra and seek removal of government led by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, which they call illegitimate and undemocratic.
Mr Shinawatra is a Thai businessman who was Prime Minister of Thailand from 2001 to 2006, when he was deposed in a military coup and convicted for conflict of interests and corruption.
He is said to be one of the richest people in Thailand, with billions – 76.6 billion baht (about US$2.3 billion dollars). That is the total value of his and his family’s assets that are currently frozen in Thailand. But there is speculation that he has a great deal more money elsewhere. (CNN)
However, the Shinawatra government also faced allegations of corruption, authoritarianism, conflicts of interest, acting non-diplomatically, and attacking the freedom of speech. Thaksin was accused of tax evasion and selling national assets to international investors. Independent bodies, including Amnesty International, criticized Thaksin’s human rights record.
Shinawatra’s visit to Montenegro caused a great deal of media speculations in the country, as well as political debates over the actions of Montenegrin government that already faced allegations for issuing Montenegrin passports to several persons who are on the Interpol “wanted” red list. Some opposition politicians claim that Montenegro is slowly becoming a safe ground for all those who need to escape from the justice and continue their large businesses. Some analysts say that this is going perfectly well with the essence of Montenegrin ruling regime, which is already becoming prominent as one of the most corrupt in Europe, while its Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and other high officials are accused and under investigation at Italian courts for tobacco smuggling, money-laundering and other criminal activities during the 1990’s. (read more here)
Montenegrin government denied those claims, explaining that constant positive statements from the EU officials about Montenegrin progress, are the best confirmation of the current government’s position.
Profile: Thaksin Shinawatra
CNN Explainer: What are the protests in Thailand about?