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Hand it over Thailand revokes passports of ousted former PM Thaksin

Thaksin, who lives abroad to avoid a jail sentence handed down for graft in 2008, was ousted in a 2006 coup but remains a major influence over Thai politics

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Thailand revokes passports of ousted former PM Thaksin play

Thailand revokes passports of ousted former PM Thaksin

(news.asiaone.com/)

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Thailand has revoked two passports belonging to ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra after he gave an interview that posed a risk to national security and the country's reputation, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

Thaksin, who lives abroad to avoid a jail sentence handed down for graft in 2008, was ousted in a 2006 coup but remains a major influence over Thai politics.

The country has been divided for a decade between the former telecommunications tycoon, and his legions of supporters from the poor countryside, and the Bangkok-based elite which sees him as a threat to the old royalist-military establishment.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement an interview Thaksin recently gave was being investigated.

It gave no details of the interview but last week Thaksin spoke to South Korean media about who he thought was behind a military coup last year in which a government loyal to him and led by his sister, former premier Yingluck Shinawatra, was ousted.

"The content of what Thaksin Shinawatra said in an interview affects national security and the reputation and honour of Thailand," the ministry said in its statement.

It referred to three sections of the criminal code, including one that relates to insulting the monarchy, and the Computer Crimes Act.

The ministry gave the numbers of two passports held by Thaksin which it said were revoked.

He was stripped of his passport in 2009 but his sister's government returned it in 2011.

Thaksin, who has in the past said he carries a Montenegro passport, is based in Dubai but travels frequently in Asia and Europe.

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