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Thailand, Germany face off over royal jet seizure

The Thai government reacted angrily to the impounding of the aircraft and demanded the German government to release the plane immediately.



Berlin: A diplomatic row has broken out
between Germany and Thailand over the impounding of a Thai
royal family aircraft at the Munich airport in connection with
a German construction company`s claim of over 30 million euros
from the Thailand government.

Crown prince Maha Vajiralongkorn`s private jet was
confiscated by the authorities in Munich on Tuesday following
an order issued by a regional court in Berlin on a petition
filed by the insolvency administrator of Walter Bau AG, which
claims that the Thai government owes it more than 30 million
euros for constructing a highway near Bangkok during the
1990s.

Thailand`s foreign minister Kasit Piromya flew into
Berlin on Friday evening in an effort to secure the release of
the aircraft and held a meeting with deputy foreign minister
Cornelia Pieper.

The crown prince was on a visit to Munich when his
Boeing 737 aircraft was seized and barred from leaving the
airport and since then he and his entourage have been staying
in a hotel there waiting for its release.

The Thai government reacted angrily to the plane`s
confiscation and warned the German government of "serious
consequences" for the relations between the two countries if
it is not freed immediately.

Pieper told journalists after the meeting that the
German government can do very little to resolve the stand-off
and it is a matter for the judiciary to decide.

Piromya indicated that his government is ready for a
compromise. The Thai government never said that it will not
pay to the German company, he said in a TV interview.

Before leaving for Berlin, he said the German
authorities had made a "big mistake" in confiscating the
aircraft.

Thailand`s foreign minister Kasit Piromya earlier on
Friday spoke of the German authorities` action as a "big
mistake" and dashed for Berlin to secure the release of the
aircraft. He is expected to meet deputy foreign minister
Cornelia Pieper and other senior government officials and to
seek their intervention to resolve the stand-off, media
reports said.

Insolvency administrator Werner Schneider said as part
of the insolvency proceedings of Walter Bau AG, he has been
asking the Thai government for many years to pay more than 30
million Euros it owes to the company.

He approached the court
in Berlin to issue a confiscation order for the aircraft
because the Thai government has not responded to his numerous
requests, he said in a TV interview. His efforts to involve the German government officials
to settle the dispute also have not been successful.

He said the insolvent company`s demand has been
confirmed by an independent commission. If a German court
lifts the confiscation order, then a security bail of 40
million Euros will be due to pay for the creditors and former
workers of the insolvent company.

The Thai government`s first attempt to overturn the
ruling of the Berlin secure the release of the aircraft failed
in a a stay against the court injenction against after the
authorities in Munich impounded the private jet of Thai crown
prince Maha Vajiralongkorn in connection with a construction
company`s claim of over 30 million euros from the Thai
government.

A regional court in Berlin had earlier this week
ordered confiscation of the Boeing 737 aircraft on a petition
filed by the insolvency administrator of the bankrupt company
Walter Bau AG, which claims that the Thai government owes it
over 30 million for constructing a highway in that country in
the 1990s.

Subsequently, police in Munich confiscated the
aircraft on Tuesday and since then Prince Vajiralongkorn and
his entourage have been staying in a hotel there unable to
leave the country.

The Thai government reacted angrily to the impounding
of the aircraft and demanded the German government to release
the plane immediately.

PTI

From Zee News

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