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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Thai Police Order Thaksin's Return

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was ordered by Thai police Tuesday to return from exile to face charges that he had concealed his ownership of a company from the Thai stock exchange.

The order that came just a day after state prosecutors said they would seek to have him and his wife tried for a suspicious land deal and an anti-graft panel ordered more of his assets frozen.

Thaksin became a billionaire in the telecommunications sector before entering politics and serving as prime minister from 2001 to 2006.

Sunai Manomaiudom, director general of the Department of Special Investigations, said police had strong evidence that Thaksin and his wife secretly held shares through nominee companies in SC Asset, a Shinawatra family real estate company. He said they had to present themselves to police between June 26 and June 29.

"If he intentionally refuses to come, we will issue an arrest warrant," said Sunai, who added that the case had nothing to do with politics.

n Meanwhile, a Hmong American suspected of being associated with the leader of a U.S.-based plot to overthrow the government of Laos has been arrested in Thailand near the border with Laos, police said Tuesday.

The man, identified as Sha Wang Lee, 53, was believed to be an associate of Vang Pao, a former general in the Royal Army of Laos who has been charged in California along with nine others in the purported plot.

Sha Wang Lee, who was arrested in the border province of Nan on Monday, was being taken to the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok on Tuesday to verify his identity and to determine whether the United States wanted him repatriated, an official said.