Hong Kong is in advanced talks with Thailand over an extradition treaty - a move that could close a long-standing law enforcement loophole. The treaty under discussion is broad in scope and does not relate to a specific case, but could be used to extradite ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra - a frequent visitor to Hong Kong who is now on the run from a two-year jail sentence. News of the negotiations comes after Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva threatened to seek China's help in the extradition of Thaksin after he announced plans to speak to the Foreign Correspondents' Club last month. Thaksin aborted the speech, saying he did not want to jeopardise Sino-Thai relations. He is now planning to speak to a club lunch this Thursday from outside Hong Kong via satellite. China signed an extradition treaty with Thailand in 1993, but no such deal exists between Thailand and Hong Kong, which, under the Basic Law, handles its own extradition matters. Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Tharit Charungvat confirmed talks were under way but said it was unclear when they would be completed. 'We continue to discuss a treaty with Hong Kong ... these things typically are very complicated and can take years,' he said. 'We have already been talking about this for some time.' Asked last week whether he wanted such a treaty with Hong Kong, Mr Abhisit told the Sunday Morning Post he supported improved legal relations with other countries but that no treaty negotiations could be based on specific cases. 'We will look into all possible legal channels,' he said. Legal sources said talks between Hong Kong and Thailand on an extradition treaty had begun before the handover. The talks stalled amid the political turmoil which followed the bloodless military coup in 2006 that ended Thaksin's five years in power. Over the past year, the process has sped up, and Thailand recently finalised a version of the treaty. The return to civilian rule and the passage by Thailand of a law making extraditions easier has helped. Asked about the progress of the talks, the Department of Justice in Hong Kong said it could not comment on the issue. The fact Hong Kong lacks agreements with Thailand - and Taiwan - on the return of fugitive offenders has long been seen in legal and law enforcement circles as a big gap in the city's laws. It has agreed to extradition treaties with the United States, Indonesia, the Philippines and South Korea. Bangkok is a favourite bolt-hole for Hong Kong triads - so much so that flight to the Thai capital often features in gangster films. Derek Wong Chong-kwong, the former chairman of listed Hong Kong company Semtech International Holdings, is also believed to have fled to Thailand before the District Court sentenced him in 2007 to more than three years' jail for bribery. In October a Thai court sentenced Thaksin to two years' jail for abuse of power in a land deal while he was in office. Thai officials have warned that even with a treaty in place, extraditing Thaksin could be exceptionally tricky. The billionaire former telecoms tycoon has not settled in any one place - instead flitting between cities including Hong Kong, Dubai, Sydney and Beijing - which would complicate proceedings.