The latest news about Thaksin Shinawatra to hit Thai newspapers proves you don’t have to be poor and ignorant to get ripped off. According to the Bangkok Post, a Dubai lawyer who dealt with the 2008 sale of then-Thaksin-owned Manchester City football club managed to steal 3 billion baht (around $95 million) from the sale. The funds disappeared after they were put into an escrow account at the law firm the man managed.
The lawyer, simply named as ‘KM’, was the prime suspect, particularly after he bought a villa worth tens of millions of dollars. Although he denied his guilt, a Dubai court disagreed and, this week, he was sentenced to three years in prison for ‘breach of trust’.
Thaksin apparently realized the money was missing when he asked for some of it to be transferred to a Montenegro bank where he is now a citizen. The UAE law firm tried to persuade him to keep the money in Dubai, (which they would as the money wasn’t actually there) and Thaksin became suspicious.
You have to wonder at the stupidity of the lawyer, though. Sure, you can understand someone trying to steal a few million baht (note I said ‘understand’ and not ‘condone’), if he truly is a scumbag. But, to steal almost 50 percent of the money in the fund while obviously thinking he’d get away with it? The mind boggles at the sheer stupidity. And the greed.
Meanwhile, there’s no word yet on how Thaskin is going to attempt to get his money back but you can guarantee he’ll be going after the lawyer’s assets as well as the assets of the law firm. With any luck, he’ll end up with more money than was stolen from him. After all, he’s Thaksin Shinawatra, and he usually lands on his feet.