Thailand asks Interpol's help to find ex-PM

Indo Asian News Service

Bangkok, Oct 12 (IANS) The police in Thailand said on Thursday Interpol has been asked to help locate and arrest fugitive former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra who was sentenced in absentia to five years of imprisonment for her role in a rice subsidy scam.

Police deputy spokesperson Krisana Pattanacharoen told Efe news that Interpol has asked for more information on the case before issuing a blue notice.

A blue notice is issued to collect additional information about a person's identity, location or activities in relation to a crime.

Yingluck had fled Thailand a few days before August 23, when the Supreme Court was due to rule on the case against her for dereliction of duty in a rice subsidy program, irregularities in which led to million-dollar losses to the state during her term in office (2001-2014).

The court had finally delivered the conviction on September 27 and issued an arrest warrant against Yingluck, whose 30-million baht ($905,000) bail was confiscated by the court after she fled.

According to members of her party and family, the former premer escaped to Cambodia and later travelled to Dubai and then a few weeks later to London, where she has allegedly asked for political asylum.

Yingluck was removed from power by the nation's Constitutional Court, which found her guilty of abuse of power over the transfer of a senior civil servant to another position, just days before the armed forces staged a coup on May 22, 2014.

The Puea Thai Party, led by Yingluck and founded by her brother Thaksin Shinawatra, who was deposed in another coup in 2006, was voted into power in 2011 with an absolute parliamentary majority.

Thaksin, who has been in self-exile in Dubai since 2008, faces a two-year jail sentence for abuse of power.

--IANS

ksk/vm