New facts about the role of BVI companies in Shin Corp’s deals

In the beginning of September, the research of the deals of BVI companies belonging to Thaksin Shinawatra, which was initiated more than a year ago,  received its continuation. Thai investigators have found that, contrary to his claim that he had transferred his interest in Ample Rich Investments to his two children in 2000, Thaksin Shinawatra still remained the beneficial owner of this BVI company at least until June 2005.

Based on the information that Ample Rich had been transferred to Thaksin’s children right before  ex-prime minister entered politics in 2000, they were ordered to pay taxes on the deals of their BVI company. However, recent documents proved that Thaksin’s children became directors of Ample Rich with full authority on June 29, 2005.

It is known that Ample Rich held a 10% stake in Shin Corp., a company whose share transfers over the past 10 years are to be traced in a search for all possible cases of tax evasion. The BVI company was suspected of being set up for minimization of tax liabilities for the Shinawatra family, who founded Shin Corp.

Having admitted that he owned Ample Rich, Thaksin denied any involvement with Win Mark. However, the Department of Investigation has brought charges against Thaksin that he was using Win Mark, which has the same address in the British Virgin Islands as Ample Rich, as a nominee for concealing overseas assets. This BVI company was holding only about 1% in Shin Corp.; its role probably was to help the Shinawatra family to maintain at least 51% of Shin Corp. to assure management control.

Shin Corp. actually is the parent company of several affiliated companies that have concessions with the government, while Thai law requires public office holders to hold shares in companies amounting to less than 5% of the total share capital, and not in those companies that have gained concessions or monoply businesses from the government. The Assets Examination Committee has already frozen large amount of Thaksin’s assets, and continues working on cases against Thaksin, to prove that in his being a prime minister he implemented several policy measures to benefit Shin Corp owned by him. If the state wins these cases, Thaksin’s assets will be confiscated.

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