BANGKOK – Lawyers for the family of ex-leader Thaksin Shinawatra met with investigators in Thailand on Tuesday and denied accusations of having financed the recent anti-government protests that sparked bloody clashes with security forces.
Thaksin, his ex-wife Pojaman, and two of their three grown children are among 83 people and companies suspected by the government of funding the so-called Red Shirt protests. The 10-week rally crippled parts of central Bangkok and left 89 dead, mostly protesters, and some 1,400 injured. The rally was dispersed by an army crackdown on May 19.
The Department of Special Investigations, Thailand’s equivalent of the FBI, has not yet pressed charges against any of the 83 suspects but has frozen their bank accounts and summoned all to report for questioning.
DSI chief Tarit Pengdit said the investigation focused on “suspicious financial transactions in the past nine months,” particularly large withdrawals and deposits and repeated, large ATM withdrawals. The DSI says it is looking into $4.6 billion of what it calls suspicious transactions since September 2009.