Thai prince's Mercedes 'under guard in Germany'

Thailand's crown prince has taken measures to prevent his Mercedes being impounded in Germany after his aircraft was seized at Munich airport last week, the Bild am Sonntag weekly said Sunday.

Maha Vajiralongkorn, heir to the throne, has "hidden" his Mercedes SLK sportscar in a private parking space of a luxury Munich hotel in southern Germany where it is being watched over by 10 bodyguards, the paper said.

The 58-year-old, currently spending his time picking strawberries in the area, has also had the car's Thai number plates removed and replaced with diplomatic ones, the paper added, without saying where it got the information.

Last Tuesday, German officials sealed a Boeing 737 often flown by the Thai prince and banned it from taking off, Munich Airport said, because of a long-running business dispute.

The move prompted a visit by Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya on Friday to Germany where he met with foreign undersecretary Cornelia Pieper to discuss the matter, the German foreign ministry said.

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

The aircraft, which the prince often pilots himself, was seized on a court order following a request from the receivers of a bankrupt German construction firm, which said Thailand owes it more than 30 million euros ($42 million).

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