Thais refuse German deal on Prince Vajiralongkorn’s jet

Thailand has ruled out paying Germany a bank bond of 20m euros ($28m; £17m) to secure the release of a plane seized from Thai Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn.The Boeing 737 was impounded at Munich airport last week in a bid to force payment of a 30m-euro debt owed by the Thai government to a German firm.

Thai officials say the jet belongs to the crown prince, not the government.But judges ruled that documentation was inconclusive, and said the jet would be released only when a payment was made.Speaking on his return from Germany, Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya expressed confidence that the issue of ownership would be resolved at the next court hearing in the second week of August.

“We are preparing solid evidence and witnesses to prove our case that would make the 20m-euro deposit unnecessary,” he told reporters.A court in Bavaria set the 20m euro bond on Wednesday, saying that was the estimated value of the Boeing 737 aeroplane.The commercial dispute goes back more than 20 years, to when a German construction company was part of a consortium that helped to build a toll road between Bangkok city and Don Muang airport, formerly Bangkok’s main international airport.German administrators say Thailand still owes the firm for the work they carried out, but the Thais say a court decision is still pending on the debt. – BBC