Thailand hunt AWOL Thaksin in bid to extradite

February 27, 2009

Thailand's prime minister said authorities will attempt to extradite the country's fugitive former leader Thaksin Shinawatra if they can locate the globe-trotting tycoon.

Speaking at a business forum, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's said the extradition was important because all Thais must follow the country's laws.

A two-year prison term was imposed on Mr Thaksin after he was convicted in October of violating a conflict of interest law. Critics accused him of massive corruption during his six years in office.

Since he fled, Mr Thaksin has been spotted repeatedly in Dubai, China and Hong Kong and was living on-and-off in London until Britain revoked his visa following the Thai court's conviction.

He bought Manchester City in 2008 and installed Sven Goran Eriksson as the club's manager. But after his troubled personal situtation the club was sold to tThe Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment in August 2009.

Thaksin then became City's honorary club president but earlier this month he was removed from the list of officials. The new owner, Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, concluded that it would be "inappropriate" to allow Thaksin to continue in the position.