On Sept. 27, the former Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra, was sentenced for her role in a major rice subsidy scheme that shook the country back in 2014. However, Shinawatra is currently not in the country as she recently fled to Dubai to avoid jail time.

The Supreme Court hands down a sentence

The Supreme Court of Thailand announced on September 25 that Yingluck Shinawatra had been found guilty of dereliction of duty over a contentious rice subsidy scheme. She was sentenced in absentia to five years in prison after failing to appear in front of the court to face their scheduled verdict.

Shinawatra had already fled the country

A highly placed source in Yingluck Shinawatra's Pheu Thai party told CNN that the former PM had fled the country last month before her hearing starting. Following this, the Supreme Cout placed an arrest warrant on her. They also confiscated her bail of 30 million baht ($900,000) that was posted when her trail started back in January 2016.

The source also said that Shinawatra was “safe and sound” in Dubai after having fled the country through improper channels. Thailand's current Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha confirmed this today saying that “We have received preliminary unofficial reports from the Foreign Ministry indicating that she is in Dubai.”

The government believes that a deputy police commander helped aid her escape by using false documents.

Shinawatra was barred from leaving the country without court approval before her trail officially started. In an exclusive interview with CNN last year, she said: “I assure you, I've never thought of fleeing.”

Rice subsidy scheme and being ousted as PM

Shortly after she was elected to be the 28th Prime Minister of Thailand back in 2011, Yingluck Shinawatra introduced her rice-buying scheme.

It pledged to pay farmers well above the market rate for their crops. Opponents of the program argued that this program wasted huge amounts of public funds to appease rural voters, hurt exports and left the government with huge stockpiles of rice they could not sell.

In 2014, she was ousted by a military coup and then impeached by the country's militarily-appointed National Legislative Assembly, which barred her from holding political office for five years. Then the country's National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) agreed to indict her over the rice subsidy issue in May 2014, citing millions of rice farmers who remained unpaid.