Thailand extradites fraud case Briton to UAE

DUBAI, June 12, 2011 (AFP) - Thailand has extradited a Briton wanted in the United Arab Emirates on charges of embezzling 150 million dollars to the Gulf Arab monarchy, state news agency WAM reported on Sunday.

"The competent authorities in the UAE recovered the accused in the corruption and breach of trust case, who had been wanted by Dubai World group," WAM said.

"The accused was extradited from Thailand on June 7," it said.

A Thai court on February 18, 2010 agreed to extradite 43-year-old Michael Bryan Smith, who was arrested in Bangkok in May 2009 after eight months on the run from charges that he siphoned the cash from the UAE's global holding company.

Police said Smith, who is married to a Thai woman, travelled extensively through Vietnam, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand after fleeing Dubai in 2008.

The move has political overtones as Bangkok has long been pushing the UAE over the fate of fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who spends much of his time in Dubai.

The Thai and UAE governments are currently negotiating an extradition treaty and have discussed a draft agreement on the matter after talks in Dubai in January.

The lack of a treaty has so far hindered Thailand's efforts to bring home telecommunications tycoon Thaksin, who was toppled in a 2006 coup and sentenced in absentia to two years in jail for corruption in 2008.

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