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Thai ex-PM Thaksin returns from exile

Posted August. 23, 2023 08:21,   

Updated August. 23, 2023 08:21


Thailand's former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra returned home on Tuesday after 15 years of exile. Upon his arrival in Bangkok, he replaced his luxurious Patek Philippe wristwatch, worn during his private jet flight, with a more modest Swatch valued at 360,000 Korean won.

Thaksin's estimated fortune by Forbes is around 2.1 billion U.S. dollars. During his time in power, Thaksin introduced populist welfare policies, including free medical care, likely aimed at gaining public support, which might have influenced his watch switch this time as well.

The opulent lifestyle of Thaksin's family has long been known. His sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, a former Prime Minister herself, disclosed assets to the government during her term in 2013, including jewelry valued at 41.78 million Thai Baht (approx. 1.6 billion won) including a four-carat diamond ring, and assets worth 3.91 million THB (approx. 150 million won), encompassing nine luxury watches from brands such as Patek Philippe, Rolex, and Cartier, along with other lavish accessories including Hermes bags.