Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said Monday that the country has received a report that ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her brother Thaksin Shinawatra, both fugitives forced to live overseas, are currently in Japan, according to a local daily.
Prawit, who was speaking to reporters while on a visit to Laos, did not mention where in Japan the former leaders are or their purpose for being in the country, according to the Thai Rath newspaper.
“Relevant organs (such as the Thai Embassy in Japan) have been ordered to take necessary actions,” he said, indicating instructions to collect information on Yingluck and her brother.
Yingluck and Thaksin were recently photographed in Beijing, giving rise to speculation that they are in the Chinese capital to celebrate the Chinese New Year on Friday.
Yingluck was last year sentenced in absentia by the Supreme Court to five years in prison for negligence in handling a rice subsidy project that resulted in massive losses to state coffers. She is believed to have fled the country ahead of the verdict.
Thaksin was ousted as prime minister in a previous military coup in 2006. He fled abroad to avoid a corruption conviction.