Thai government seeks to collect big tax bill from former PM

Thailand's military government is seeking to collect at least 12 billion baht ($360 million) in unpaid taxes and penalties from a prime minister toppled in a coup 11 years ago, in what his supporters consider a continuing political vendetta.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said Wednesday that in order to avoid a March 31 legal deadline on collecting the money, the Revenue Department will present a formal tax assessment covering Thaksin Shinawatra's sale of shares in his telecommunications company to a Singapore state holding company, which will keep alive the government's claim on the money.

The sale totaled 73.3 billion baht ($1.88 billion). His supporters have challenged the tax bill, saying it is politically motivated.