Ex-Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra Ordered to Return $ 1.4 Billion

Multibillionaire Thaksin Shinawatra will see his assets shrink in the coming months as the Thai Supreme Court found the former prime minister and his family guilty of using their influence to amass some of their wealth.

In a verdict delivered amid tight security and a threat of coup, judges ordered Thaksin and his family to return $ 1.4 billion of a contested $ 2.3 billion wealth. The Supreme Court said seizing all of the assets would be unfair because Thaksin was already a billionaire even before he became prime minister of Thailand in 2001. Judges said Thaksin was guilty of using his position to benefit his businesses, which cornered lucrative contracts in the mobile phone and satellite communications industries.

Thaksin said he already anticipated the verdict and vowed to continue his battle even without his fortune. The 60-year-old businessman was ousted in 2006 by a military coup. He and his family are currently living in the United Kingdom.