Prayut says Yingluck in Dubai, UAE source says London

Prayut says Yingluck in Dubai, UAE source says London

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra greets supporters at the Supreme Court in Bangkok on Aug 1, when she made her closing statement in her rice-scheme case. (Photo by Seksan Rojjanametakun)
Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra greets supporters at the Supreme Court in Bangkok on Aug 1, when she made her closing statement in her rice-scheme case. (Photo by Seksan Rojjanametakun)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Thursday former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is currently in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), while according to a source in the UAE, she left Dubai for London on Sept 11.

"I have learned unofficially from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that she is in Dubai," Gen Prayut told reporters, adding that the ministry has been tracking Yingluck's whereabouts.

"The police will now have to proceed and coordinate with the Foreign Ministry and Interpol," he added.

However, Reuters reported that according to a source in the UAE, Yingluck left Dubai for London on Sept. 11.

On Thursday afternoon, police searched Yingluck's house on Soi Yothin Pattana 3 in Bung Kum district, Bangkok.

Leading the search, deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said police were making an official confirmation that Yingluck was not present, and also collecting evidence - including DNA samples - to assist in their search for her whereabouts. He expected DNA results in a few days.

Yingluck failed to appear for the Court's ruling on Wednesday and is believed to have fled the country. Gen Prayut said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was taking steps to have her passport revoked. 

He said he had no emotional reaction to the news that the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions had sentenced Yingluck to five years in jail for failing to stop falsified and corruption-plagued government-to-government sales of rice from her rice-pledging scheme.

“It is not my issue,” he told reporters. “It is a matter for the court and the individual concerned, like every other case. The court provides equality to all under the law, regardless of their status -- whether they are traders, ordinary people or politicians,” he said.

Gen Prayut added that he had been following the case, but now that the court has ruled, he would move on to other cases.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon also said that Yingluck is in Dubai, a country with which Thailand has no extradition agreement. 

He added that authorities in Dubai had informed the Thai Foreign Affairs Ministry that they had asked Yingluck not to engage in any political activities while in the country. 

Gen Prawit said he does not know whether Yingluck could be trusted.

   Earlier story: Hunt resumes for Yingluck

(Video YouTube/Al Jazeera English)


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