CAMBODIA DENIES claims that it issued a passport to former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who reportedly used it to register a company in Hong Kong, according to the Phnom Penh Post yesterday.
In August 2018, Yingluck used a Cambodian passport to register as the sole director of PT Corporation, a company incorporated in Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday. It cited corporate filings in the Hong Kong Companies Registry.
Mao Chandara, the director general of the identification department at Cambodia’s Interior Ministry, said they had not issued a passport to Yingluck.
“We don’t know whether it [the passport] is fake or not,” he told the Phnom Penh Post.
The ex-PM was suspected of using a foreign travel document when she left Thailand under mysterious circumstances a few days before the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders was scheduled to read its verdict in a case against her.
Yingluck, 51, was later sentenced in absentia to five years’ in prison for criminal negligence, in connection with her government’s rice-pledging scheme.
She has since lived overseas, making headlines from time to time when appearing in public in countries like the UK, Japan, China and Singapore, along with her brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Yingluck returned to the limelight recently following media reports that she has become a legal representative and chairwoman of Shantou International Container Terminal in China.
Her name was added to the port company’s registration filed last month. Her appointment as chairwoman of the Guangdong-based port operator came four months after she set up PT Corporation.
But it remains unclear what business the company is involved in. Yingluck and Thaksin were in China over the weekend to visit their ancestral home in Guangdong.
A Bangkok-based company of the same name, PT Corporation, was listed as the Hong Kong firm’s founding member, the South China Morning Post reported. Thaksin’s daughters, Pinthongta, Kunakornwong and Paethongtarn Shinawatra, are major shareholders in the Thai firm, according to the newspaper.
In Hong Kong, Yingluck’s company registered its office at the same address as a firm, among whose directors is a Hong Kong businesswoman believed to be close to Yingluck.
The businesswoman is also managing director of a Singapore-listed property company, the Hong Kong paper reported. Yingluck registered her residential address as a luxurious house on The Peak, the highest hill in Hong Kong, that belonged to the businesswoman and her husband, according to corporate filings.