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Germany bans former Thai leader

Thailand's globe-trotting, fugitive former leader Thaksin Shinawatra is no longer welcome in Germany and will be arrested if he returns there, according to the Thai foreign ministry.

Officials said today they were notified about the ban on the former owner of English Premier League side Manchester City in an official letter from the German Embassy last week.

"I have been told by the embassy that if Thaksin enters Germany again he will be detained," a spokesman said.

The ban strikes another country off the map for Mr Shinawatra, who continues to roam the globe with a variety of passports and elude Thai authorities who say they are trying to extradite him.

Britain revoked his visa in November 2008, a month after a Thai court convicted him of corruption and sentenced the tycoon to two years in prison. That ban blocked him from returning to his London town house where he had been living in self-imposed exile.

Mr Shinawatra's international wanderings followed his oust in a 2006 coup after six years as prime minister.

The 59-year-old former telecommunications tycoon has been on the run on-and-off since the coup, surfacing most recently in Dubai, Nicaragua and Liberia in pursuit of investment opportunities. He has also been spotted playing golf in Bali, shopping at upscale malls in Hong Kong and on trips to China and Australia.

Thailand revoked Thaksin's personal and diplomatic passports, but he has acquired passports from Nicaragua and Montenegro.

Belfast Telegraph


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