Published:  12:26 AM, 18 July 2017

Thai king's control over palace wealth


A new law giving Thailand's king direct control over royal assets worth billions of dollars went into force Monday, the latest move by an increasingly assertive monarch to consolidate his power.

King Maha Vajiralong-korn inherited one of the world's great fortunes when he ascended the throne in October following the death of his father Bhumibol Adulyadej who ruled for seven decades.

Thailand's monarchy is shielded from both criticism and scrutiny by a draconian lese majeste law and does not declare its wealth. But analysts say the Chakris are one of the world's wealthiest royal dynasties, with estimates varying between $30-60 billion.

Most of this wealth is controlled by the opaque Crown Property Bureau (CPB), a vast portfolio that includes massive property ownership and investments in major companies.

-AFP, Bangkok

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