Probe says Temasek may have broken Thai laws

2 Oct 06

A Commerce Ministry probe into Temasek’s purchase of Thailand’s biggest telecoms firm has found that the Singapore state investment arm may have overstepped foreign ownership laws, an official said on Monday.

The investigation centred on Kularb Kaew, a holding company set up as part of Temasek’s $3.8 billion purchase of Shin Corp. from the family of now-deposed Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in January.

At the heart of the matter lies the question of whether Kularb Kaew, which is controlled by a Malaysia-based Thai who was a partner in the Shin deal, is a Thai company or a Temasek nominee.

“We have found some evidence, especially the way Kularb Kaew transferred money to buy Shin Corp., which might go against Clause 36 of the Alien Business Law,” Dusit Uchupong, deputy director general at the ministry’s Business Development Department, told reporters. ($1=37.59 baht)