But analysts say if both siblings are now in exile their time in Thailand's spin dryer political arena is over.'It is the end of the Shinawatras and the Pheu Thai party in politics,' Puangthong Pawakpan, a Thai politics expert at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University.'With two family members as fugitives, the family loses political legitimacy,' she said, adding that Yingluck's departure would be welcomed by a Thai junta weary of the prospect of her political martyrdom in jail.
Her flagship rice subsidy poured cash on her family's rural political heartland, paying up to twice the market rate for the grain.
He turned to politics and swept to victory in 2001, dramatically building his own strong political network and riling the conservative establishment, and every Thai general election since has been won by Shinawatra parties.
The clan had clung on in Thailand's treacherous political game for more than a decade despite two coups, deadly protests, a cascade of legal cases and huge asset seizures.
Thaksin remains a galvanising force for his party and a canny political operator.
Thai junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha denied knowledge of her whereabouts but ordered border checkpoints 'to be stepped up,' while his number-two Prawit Wongsuwon said it was 'possible' Yingluck had fled through neighbouring Cambodia.
If that had been confirmed, Yingluck would have joined her billionaire brother Thaksin in self-exile - a knock-out blow to the family and their political ambitions.
In a day of high drama, Yingluck ducked her court hearing for negligence over a flagship rice subsidy policy, which carried up to 10 years in prison and a life ban from politics.'Her lawyer said she is sick and asked to delay the ruling... and has decided to issue an arrest warrant,' fearing she may flee the country, lead judge Cheep Chulamon told the court, rescheduling the verdict to September 27.
A minister in her government was jailed hours later for 42 years in a separate trial for corruption linked to the policy.Thailand's ex-prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra is believed have fled to Dubai after disappearing on the day she was due to appear in court to face charges of negligence.A warrant was issued for the arrest of the 50-year-old politician when she failed to turn up to Thailand's Supreme Court on Friday.The Shinawatras rolled out policies such as universal healthcare, debt relief, loans for start-up business and big rice subsidies for farmers, the latter is the policy which has ended up with Yingluck in court this week. Currently in charge, the military junta say they are simply restoring order after years of protests and deadly political violence.Meanwhile, Shinawatra supporters say Bangkok's conservative elite, including forces within the palace, have acted simply to protect their monopoly on power.But three years of repressive junta rule has successfully quashed any widespread opposition to the military for now.