Thai junta leader says fugitive former PM Yingluck is in Dubai

But a source in the United Arab Emirates said Yingluck left Dubai for London on 11 September, without giving further details.

This file photo taken on July 21, 2017 shows former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra greeting her supporters as she leaves the Supreme Court in Bangkok. Picture: AFP

BANGKOK - The leader of Thailand’s military junta said on Thursday that Yingluck Shinawatra, the prime minister he ousted three years ago, was in Dubai, where she fled last month to avoid being jailed over a rice subsidy scheme that lost billions of dollars.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army chief who led the coup, said Thailand would pursue Yingluck through diplomatic channels and police cooperation using Interpol.

His remarks came a day after the country’s top court found Yingluck guilty of criminal negligence and sentenced her in absentia to five years in prison.

“She is in Dubai,” Prayuth told reporters, adding that the foreign ministry had been tracking Yingluck’s movements.
“The police will now have to proceed and coordinate with the Foreign Ministry and Interpol.”

Thaksin’s Puea Thai Party did not comment to Reuters on Prayuth’s disclosure.

But a source in the United Arab Emirates said Yingluck left Dubai for London on 11 September, without giving further details.

The Supreme Court delayed giving its judgement last month after Yingluck failed to show in court and police discovered she had slipped out of the country.

The Thai authorities had not disclosed Yingluck’s whereabouts before, though senior party members had told Reuters she had gone to Dubai where her brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who lives in self-imposed exile to avoid a 2008 jail sentence for graft, has a home.

On Thursday, asked by Reuters whether Yingluck had left Dubai for London, Thai deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul declined to comment.

Photographs posted on the photo-sharing app Instagram by one of Thaksin’s daughters show Thaksin in London since 15 September.

None of the photos feature Yingluck.