Thai 'crony' Of Mugabe To Promote National Image

Published January 25, 2012 4:18AM (EST)

BANGKOK (AP) — A Thai Cabinet member who was the target of U.S. sanctions for alleged business deals with Zimbabwe strongman Robert Mugabe is now in charge of promoting Thailand's national image.

Nalinee Taveesin, previously Thailand's trade representative, was named a Cabinet minister during last week's reshuffle of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government.

On Tuesday, Yingluck's office announced that Nalinee's duties would include overseeing the National Identity Office, which is responsible for promoting the "unique and noble values that distinguish Thailand."

The U.S. Treasury Department in 2008 named Nalinee a crony of Mugabe and said she had facilitated real estate and gem-related transactions for Zimbabwe figures.

It froze any potential U.S. assets and banned U.S. citizens from doing business with her.

By Salon Staff

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