Yingluck escaped with help of state officials, sources say (Updated)

There are conflicting reports on the route Ms Yingluck took during her escape.

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Some state officials were complicit in Yingluck Shinawatra's flight from justice this week, sources told the Bangkok Post on Friday. Reuters quotes senior Phua Thai party members as saying she has arrived in Dubai.

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Yingluck fled to Dubai – senior party members


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.

Sources in her Puea Thai Party said the former prime minister left Thailand 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 authorised to speak to the media.

Deputy national police chief General Srivara Rangsibrahmanakul said police had no record of Yingluck leaving the country and where following developments closely.

A Reuters reporter was stopped by security at the exclusive Emirates Hills community in Dubai, where Thaksin has a home.

A spokesperson for Thaksin in Dubai did not respond to attempts by Reuters to contact Thaksin.

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Officials 'abetted' Yingluck's flight to Cambodia

Nauvarat Suksamran

Some state officials were complicit in Yingluck Shinawatra's flight from justice this week and may have facilitated her escape to Cambodia, where she was assisted by people of influence en route to the Middle East, sources told the Bangkok Post on Friday.

"Let's just say the powers that be gave her the green light to go," said a source close to the upper echelons of power in Thai politics.

"If she had been convicted or jailed it would have caused more trouble and social unrest, so letting her leave was considered the best option," the source added.

The embattled former prime minister shocked the nation yesterday by failing to show up for the final judgement in her rice-pledging scheme trial.

A guilty verdict in the dereliction of duty case could have seen Ms Yingluck face a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a lifetime ban from politics.

Two other politicians who served under her and were being tried for graft in government-to-government rice sales cases received sentences of 42 years and 36 years, respectively.

In her latest role as a fugitive from justice, Ms Yingluck took a private jet to an airport in Trat, where she crossed the Thai land border to Koh Kong province accompanied by her associates, a source close to her family told the Post.

"Khun Yingluck travelled to Cambodia and then took a flight to Singapore to catch another to Dubai," the source said.

Ms Yingluck's older brother Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted as prime minister in 2006 and now lives in self-imposed exile, is believed to be residing in the same emirate.

The other source said she "first made her way to Phnom Penh, where she received assistance from various powerful figures in the country".

Observers say the Shinawatra family has longstanding ties with leading figures in Cambodia. The daughter of Yaowapa Wongsawat, another of Mr Thaksin's younger sisters, married the son of a Cambodian MP, a key decision-maker in the economic policies of Prime Minister Hun Sen. The MP also runs hotels and property businesses there.

Ms Yingluck got help obtaining a Cambodian passport before venturing on to Singapore in her private jet and later flying to Dubai to see her brother, the sources said.

A message by a high-ranking police officer on the social messaging app Line that was shown to the Post suggests she left the country on Wednesday.

The sources said Ms Yingluck also holds a Nicaraguan passport, as does Mr Thaksin.

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