Thailand’s ex-PM Yingluck flees to Dubai: senior party members
August 27, 2017 12:21 PM NPT
BANGKOK, August 27: Thailand’s former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has fled to Dubai, senior members of her party said on Saturday, a day after she failed to show up for a negligence ruling in which she faced up to 10 years in prison.
Puea Thai Party sources said Yingluck left Thailand last week and flew via Singapore to Dubai where her brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who lives in self-imposed exile to avoid a 2008 jail sentence for corruption, has a home.
“We heard that she went to Cambodia and then Singapore from where she flew to Dubai. She has arrived safely and is there now,” said a senior member of the Puea Thai Party who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Deputy national police chief General Srivara Rangsibrahmanakul said police had no record of Yingluck, 50, leaving the country and were following developments closely.
A Reuters reporter was stopped by security at the exclusive Emirates Hills community in Dubai, where Thaksin has a home.
A Thaksin spokesperson in Dubai did not respond to attempts by Reuters to contact Thaksin.
Police estimate that up to 3,000 supporters had gathered outside the court in Bangkok on Friday where Yingluck was due to hear a verdict in a negligence trial against her involving a rice buying policy of her administration.
But Yingluck did not show up at the appointed hour and the court quickly issued a statement saying she had cited an ear problem as the reason for her no-show.
The court rejected the excuse and moved the verdict reading to September 27. It later issued an arrest warrant for Yingluck.