Police say they have car ex-prime minister used to flee

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Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is shown in this undated file photo. (AP Photo)
Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is shown in this undated file photo. (AP Photo)

Bangkok (AP) —Police on Friday examined a car they believe was used to help former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra flee the country ahead of a court verdict that could have seen her jailed for a decade.

Yingluck, who is accused of negligence in overseeing a money-losing rice subsidy program that critics say was riddled with corruption, has not been seen since she failed to turn up for the Aug. 25 verdict and there has been no confirmed information about her whereabouts.

Investigators have suggested the former PM traveled by land into Cambodia and then by air to a third country, perhaps to Dubai to join her brother Thaksin Shinawatra.

Police said late Thursday that they used surveillance camera footage from the border province of Sa Kaeo to track down a Toyota Camry believed to have carried Yingluck to the border. The car was found in Nakhon Pathom province, just outside Bangkok. Police said they were still trying to confirm their theory that Yingluck left her home two nights before the verdict, switched vehicles in an outlying suburb and then continued on to the Cambodia border.

Pol. Gen. Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, a deputy police commissioner, said he was unable to publicly confirm that Yingluck had fled through Cambodia because doing so at this time could affect international relations.

He also said three of his officers had been questioned on suspicion of helping Yingluck flee, but they would not be charged with criminal offenses because there was no warrant for her arrest at the time.

“We will keep investigating until police can conclude the case,” he said.