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Shinawatra Government

Passport already issued to Thaksin : Democrat

Democrat spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said yesterday he had received a letter claiming that former PM Thaksin Shinawatra had already been issued a Thai passport on the quiet.

Chavanond, a former secretary to the foreign minister under the previous government, showed the original and provided copies of the letter signed by a "New Breed of Foreign Ministry Official" to the media yesterday.

The letter claimed that a ministry computer was unlocked by an official who wanted to please "big boss", to issue the passport on October 31, at a time when the Consular Affairs Department's office in Chaeng Wattana was closed due to flooding.

According to the letter, a passport was issued and the name of the person in the passport was removed from the black list.

The chief of the passport division at the Consular Affairs Department is authorised to issue passports to eligible persons who are required to apply in person and pay the fee to the Foreign Ministry. The application form, serial number of the passport and the number on the fee receipt must be matched.

Chavanond said that the information was confirmed as he had also learned from his sources at the ministry that a passport had been issued and already delivered to Thaksin. It might have been done during Foreign Minister Surapong Towichuk-chaikul's trip to Dubai from November 22-25, he said.

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday called on the foreign minister to prove that Thaksin has not been issued a passport and that his name has not been taken off the black list.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdi said he had not received any information from the department on the issuance of a passport to Thaksin. Foreign Minister Surapong would inform the public directly, the spokesman said.

Contacted by reporters seeking clarification, Surapong said he was busy in a meeting with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and would give an interview on the issue later.


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