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Senior officer was ‘mastermind’ in Yingluck escape, says deputy police chief

Oct 04. 2017
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By THE NATION

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A SENIOR POLICE officer has been implicated for allegedly enabling the flight of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, deputy national police chief Pol General Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said yesterday.

Srivara said the police had information that the officer was a “mastermind” in the case. Yingluck’s flight, he said, could not have been carried out without a mastermind.

Police are waiting for the results of DNA tests, expected tomorrow, before extending their investigations, he said.

If the DNA traces found in the Toyota Camry belong to Yingluck, her driver – Pol Colonel Chairit Anurit of the Metropolitan Police – would also be charged with dereliction of duty under Article 157, Srivara said. Chairit has already been charged with possessing fake licence plates found in the vehicle and has been the subject of a disciplinary probe.

On August 23, Yingluck fled in the vehicle to Sa Kaew province, where she reportedly crossed the border. She was subsequently found to have reached Dubai, which she later left to travel to the United Kingdom. 

She did not attend the scheduled August 25 reading of the Supreme Court verdict in the case against her relating to her government’s rice-pledging scheme. The verdict, which was finally read on September 27, found her guilty on some charges and she was jailed in absentia for five years without suspension.

Srivara said he has filed a complaint with the Immigration Bureau against Yingluck for violation of the immigration law. Under the law, an arrest warrant would be issued next.

He also said he has expedited a complaint filed to Interpol, asking for a “red notice” – effectively an international arrest warrant – to be issued against Yingluck.

The Royal Thai Police’s Foreign Affairs Division has informed him that a “blue notice” must be issued first. This would ask Interpol members to help locate, identify or obtain information about Yingluck and her whereabouts. 

Srivara said Yingluck was already a convict, and he believed that her case was not political, but about corruption, so she should be subject to a red notice.

Srivara said Thai police had contacted their counterparts in the UK and were waiting to hear back. 

The United Arab Emirates had notified Thai authorities that Yingluck had left Dubai for the UK on September 11, he said.

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