Thaksin arrested & jailed after returning to Thailand from 15-year exile

Thaksin's 15-year exile has ended.

Brenda Khoo | August 22, 2023, 03:55 PM

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Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was swiftly arrested, taken to court, and jailed after he landed in Thailand today.

After having been in exile for 15 years, Bangkok Post reported that Thaksin, 74, landed via a private jet at Bangkok's Don Mueang airport at around 10am local time.

He was seen calmly smiling at and waving to his supporters. Thaksin arrived on his home soil just hours before the Thai parliament met up to vote on a new prime minister.

Many of his supporters held placards that read "Welcome home Thaksin”, while others repeated with a chant, “Welcome back Prime Minister."

Unfortunately, Thaksin's homecoming freedom was short-lived; he was arrested by the Thai police and correction department officials before he could greet his supporters in person.

Reuters reported that Thaksin was sent to prison where he would be imprisoned for eight years.

Thaksin's daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra wrote on her Instagram, "Welcome back to Thailand, daddy. Now my father has arrived in Thailand safely. and has entered into the legal process. Thank you to everyone who came to pick up Dad. Thank you for all the encouragement that everyone sent me. My family and I are very grateful."

Screenshot from @ingshin21/Instagram.


Thaksin became the prime minister of Thailand in 2001.

In 2006, he was ousted in a military coup and subsequently went into exile in 2008 to avoid a corruption trial, which found him guilty in absentia.

Thaksin has spent most of his years in exile in London or Dubai. He has also occasionally been spotted in Singapore over the years.

Top image from @ingshin21/Instagram