• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Court releases Thai prince's impounded jet

The Local · 20 Jul 2011, 11:29

Published: 20 Jul 2011 11:29 GMT+02:00

Maha Vajiralongkorn's Boeing 737 was seized at Munich airport in southern Germany last Tuesday in a long-running commercial dispute between Thailand and the receivers of a now-insolvent German construction firm.

But the court in Landshut near Munich allowed the plane, valued at around €20 million, to be released following assurances that it was the private property of the 58-year-old heir to the throne and not that of the Thai state.

The seizure of the aircraft prompted a visit by Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya on Friday to Germany, calling the incident a "huge mistake" and meeting foreign undersecretary Cornelia Pieper to discuss the matter.

Amid fears of worsening bilateral relations, the German government has said it regretted the incident but stressed that it was powerless to act, insisting it was a matter for the courts.

The dispute goes back more than 20 years to the involvement of DYWIDAG, which merged with construction firm Walter Bau in 2001, in building a motorway link between Bangkok and Don Muang airport.

After "numerous breaches of contract by the Thai government", Walter Bau, by then insolvent, in 2007 claimed for damages.

"We have been trying for years ... to have our justified demands for more than €30 million met, and this drastic measure is basically the last resort," Walter Bau's insolvency administrator said when the plane was seized.

Story continues below…

"The Thai government keeps playing for time and has not reacted to Schneider's demands. Even the involvement of the relevant departments of the German government proved fruitless."

AFP/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:28 July 20, 2011 by oldMoslin
These type of contruction companies e.g Walter do a lot of illegal thing in the third world developing countries to get the contract.

They bribe the government/sheikhs etc. After that when they are in trap they do this kind of seizure like crazy people.

Why the company did not seize thai airways and other thai invetsments in germany?
16:52 July 20, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Because those assets are at least partially privately owned. Therefore, a seizure against them, would be a seizure against non-involved third parties. That would be wrong.

However, the aircraft is registered to the Kingdom of Thailand, i.e. the government itself. Which is the debtor. Hence, it was fair game.

This has been explained a couple of times already.
19:42 July 20, 2011 by TheCrownPrince
oldMoslin is a troll, don't even try.
04:17 July 21, 2011 by Kobphong Neowakul
The ruling is fair and I hopped that this matter would end soon.
08:19 July 21, 2011 by Englishted
It will be interesting to see where the money goes to?
18:02 July 21, 2011 by The-ex-pat
There is more to this story than being released. A 15 year old 737-400 has a street value of around $5 million.............................
Today's headlines
Sinking Deutsche Bank stock sends shock across Europe
Photo: DPA

Shares in Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank plummeted on the Frankfurt stock market on Friday, dragging other European banks and global markets down with it, after reports some customers were pulling money out.

The Local List
10 things you never knew about German reunification
Reunification celebrations in Hanover in 2014. Photo: DPA

With German Unity Day (October 3rd) happening on Monday, Germans are looking forward to a three-day weekend. But did you know these facts about reunification and German Unity Day?

Munich pharmacy’s nighttime porno show draws crowd
Photo: DPA

When a police patrol in Munich's Sendlinger Tor area noticed a crowd gathered outside a pharmacy window they went to investigate. But the onlookers weren't interested in a new line of flu medicine.

Small town mayor beaten up for plan to house refugees
File photo: DPA.

The mayor of the small northern town of Oersdorf, Schleswig-Holstein, was beaten up by an as yet unknown person, police reported on Friday, seemingly because of plans to provide a home for refugees.

Fire at major Ruhr area hospital kills at least two
The fire in Bochum. Photo: DPA

Tragedy struck the western German town of Bochum on Friday morning when a huge fire broke out in a hospital in Bochum, killing at least two people.

Merkel condemns 'barbarous' Russian strikes on Aleppo
Photo: DPA.

US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned what they called "barbarous" Russian and Syrian regime airstrikes on Aleppo during a phone call Thursday, the White House said.

Self-driving Tesla car hits bus on Autobahn
A Tesla Model S on autopilot. Photo: DPA / obs / ADAC

Questions about Tesla’s self-driving cars are now being raised in Germany after an accident on Wednesday.

Lion shot dead at Leipzig Zoo after breaking out of cage
Motshegetsi (l) und Majo. Photo: DPA

A young male lion was shot dead at Leipzig Zoo on Thursday afternoon after he broke out of his enclosure.

EU takes Germany to court for 'discriminatory' foreigner toll
A sign that reads "toll" along the Autobahn by Rostock. Photo: DPA.

The European Commission on Thursday said it is taking Germany to the EU Court of Justice because of the country's plan to impose a road toll that would mainly charge foreign drivers.

After 3-year trial, suspected neo-Nazi terrorist speaks out
Beate Zschäpe. Photo: DPA

Beate Zschäpe, the only living member of an underground neo-Nazi cell accused of murdering ten people, has spoken to the court in Munich after three years of silence.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
6,582
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd