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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thai official confirms Hun Sen's daughter to take over CATS

BANGKOK, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen's daughter plans to hold shares in Cambodia Traffic Air Services (CATS) after the Cambodian government has temporarily taken over management of the firm, a Thai senior official confirmed Saturday.

Panitan Wattanayakorn, Thai acting government spokesman confirmed the news report that Hun Sen's daughter is planning to hold shares in CATS.

Having controlled CATS by the Cambodia government occurs after Siwarak Chothipong, a 31-year-old-Thai man, who worked as engineer at CATS, has been arrested from Nov. 11, according to the arrest warrant of prosecutor of Phnom Penh Municipality Court.

Cambodia has charged Siwarak of having had confidential information affecting Cambodia's national security, a senior Thai official said Wednesday.

According to a news report by the Khmer language newspaper Rasmei Kampuchea, Siwarak spied through copying the letters of flights of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in Cambodia and Hun Sen from CATS which has duties to control all flights in country and he sent those reports to Thailand.

Siwarak has been detained in a prison in Phnom Penh since last week as the Thai government is now in the process of seeking a release for him.

Chawanon Intarakomalsut, Thai Foreign Minister's secretary said he expected that the process could be completed next week and the engineer's mother could probably visit her son next week.
He also said it would be difficult for any individual to take over the company, but his ministry would try to assist CATS. So far the company has not requested help.

Panithan said that he did not know whether the company could be protected as other companies registered in Cambodia, and it's up to the company to file a request for the Cambodian government to consider.

Thailand and Cambodia have downgraded their diplomatic relations due to conflict over an appointment of Thaksin as an economic advisor to Cambodia's government and Hun Sen on Nov. 4.

A day after the appointment of Thaksin, the Cambodian government announced recall of its ambassador to Thailand in a move to respond to the Thai government's recall of its ambassador to Cambodia.

Thaksin was ousted by the military coup in September 2006, in accusation of corruption, and has been kept in exile since then. He returned to Thailand in February 2008 to face corruption charges, but he later fled into exile again and was convicted in absentia.

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