No Sign of Thaksin in Siem Reap Despite Rumors, Media Reports

siem reap city – Despite persistent rumors and Thai media reports that Thaksin Shinawatra was headed for Siem Reap city this weekend, the fug­­itive former Thai prime minister was nowhere to be seen yesterday.

However, three pickup trucks with RCAF license plates and a black Mercedes sedan that Mr Thak­sin used on his previous visits to Cambodia were parked yesterday morning outside the City Angkor Ho­tel, where Mr Thaksin, an economic adviser to Cambodia, stayed when he visited in November.

About a dozen bodyguards were stationed inside the hotel lobby, armed with walkie-talkies. At one point they surrounded two women, who rushed into the Mercedes and drove off, trailed by the RCAF trucks and a large SUV with a government license plate.

A doorman at the City Angkor told reporters that an in-law of Mr Thaksin’s was staying there.

The Thai News Agency reported yesterday that Mr Thaksin’s brother-in-law, former Thai Prime Min­ister Somchai Wongsawat, had recently traveled to Cambodia.

But the hotel’s receptionist yesterday would not identify his Thai guests, saying only that Mr Thaksin was not there. Both hotel employees spoke on condition of anonymity, as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

As hordes of Thaksin-allied red shirts massed in Bangkok yesterday, Mr Thaksin announced via the social-networking site Twitter that he was headed to Europe to rendezvous with his two daughters.

Mr Thaksin also denied a Bang­kok Post report that he had been expelled from his current home base in the United Arab Emirates. During a televised “call-in” with his red-shirted supporters on Saturday, he said he was in Switz­erland, ac­cording to the Associated Press.

The Thai Foreign Ministry told The Nation newspaper on Friday that Mr Thaksin appeared to be headed for Cambodia. However, Siem Reap Governor Sou Phirin also denied yesterday that Mr Thak­sin was in town.

“No one can hide an elephant,” Mr Phirin said. “If Mr Thaksin had arrived, it would not be quiet like this.”


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