BANGKOK (Reuters) – The leader of Thailand’s military junta said yesterday 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 Prayut Chan-o-cha, 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,” Gen Prayut 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.”
Yingluck’s Puea Thai Party did not comment on Gen Prayut’s disclosure. But a source in the United Arab Emirates said Yingluck left Dubai for London on September 11, without giving any further details.
Yesterday, asked 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 September 15. None of the photos feature Yingluck.
Thai police yesterday raided Yingluck’s home in eastern Bangkok, armed with a search warrant.
Around a dozen police from the forensics unit entered the large compound carrying gloves and metal boxes, to be met by a lawyer for Yingluck and one of her bodyguards.