Nalinee "Joy" Taveesin, the polished and prim new minister newly appointed to the Thai premier's cabinet, hardly evokes the image of a "crony" supporting "one of Africa's most corrupt regimes."
But that's how she's described by the U.S. government. The Thai businesswoman is alleged to have "facilitated a number of financial, real estate and gem-related transactions" on behalf of Zimbabwean figure including Grace Mugabe.
You may have heard of her husband. His name is Robert and he's Zimbabwe's terminally corrupt president.
So why did Thailand's government appoint this well-to-do Harvard graduate to the premier's cabinet this week?
Is the Thai prime minister simply ignorant of her new appointee's alleged support of, in the U.S. government's words, "kleptocratic practies" in Zimbabwe?
Or does she believe Nalinee when she says, according to the AFP, that this is a case of "guilt by association"?
Amusingly, the businesswoman's own Web site is broadcasting her placement on a U.S. "blacklist" through what appears to be an automated headline feed from the Bangkok Post newspaper.