Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thaksin tells Forbes about advising his sister and digging gold in Africa

Thaksin Shinawatra tells Forbes magazine that he speaks a few times a week, or more, to Premier Yingluck -- often on family affairs but also to advise on official matters.

Forbes quoted him as saying in an exclusive interview in Dubai recently:

"Sometimes when there's a hot issue we talk more. Because I know the people, I know the law, I know international protocols. She is new. She doesn't need to call me, but when she does, I can give her the answers immediately. Because I am sitting here foing nothing..."

Tim Ferguson, who interviewed Thaksin, reported that Thaksin said he had $1 billion of the seized funds returned to him.

The former prime minister said he had so far invested about $30 million in mining in Africa.

He was quoted as saying that he had got concessions for exploration in Uganda and Tanzania, and titanium concession in Zimbabwe.

"We found gold and titanium already...the first report will come out next month and some will come out in January. We will start (mining) gold in Tanzania in February (2013). Uganda will come next year. ..we also found a very good reserve of platinum in Uganda.." he said.

He was asked at one point: Have you ever got your money fromt he Shin Corp process back?

Thaksin said: "I got back part of it, about $1 billion...That's why I have money to invest."

Thaksin said he had got out of the coal mining project in South Africa..."I've been trapped into conflict with a partner. So I get out..."

When he was told that he was very familiar with the policy direction of the current Thai government (discussing the controversial rice pledging project), Thaksin responded:

"This policy, I am the one who thinks. Like our slogan during the campaign, Thaksin thinks, Pheu Thai acts."

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