Bangkok: Thai authorities have frozen seven bank accounts belonging to ex-premier Yingluck Shinawatra over a US$1bil (RM4.2bil) fine she faces for her administration’s controversial rice subsidy scheme, her lawyer said.
The move is seen as unprecedented because it financially sanctions an elected leader for a government policy and it is the latest in a barrage of legal battles she has had to fight since she was booted from office.
Thailand’s first female prime minister, whose government was toppled in a 2014 coup, is already facing up to a decade in jail for allegedly failing to stop graft in the subsidy programme that targeted her party’s rural farming base.
She was also retroactively impeached soon after the coup, a move that banned her from politics for five years.
Yingluck’s legal team had petitioned for an injunction against the US$1bil (RM4.2bil) fine – which dwarfs the roughly US$18mil (RM77mil) she has in publicly declared assets.
But the Finance Ministry said Monday it was moving ahead with the order and planned to seize at least 12 accounts belonging to the embattled politician.
Yingluck’s lawyer confirmed yesterday that at least seven accounts had now been locked.
“Bangkok Bank notified us that seven of her bank accounts have been frozen and cannot carry out any transactions,” Noppadon Laowthong said. — AFP