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A day of shame as Thai police try to defend revoking “Boss” arrest warrants

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A day of shame as Thai police try to defend revoking “Boss” arrest warrants | Thaiger

Thai Police are being forced to defend their decision to “revoke all arrest warrants” for 35 year old Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya, claiming that they could face negligence charges if they pursued a case that prosecutors have already dropped. All warrants and red notices in the Interpol website, the Immigration Bureau and the Office of the Royal Thai Police have been revoked in relation to the hit-and-run case. A few key notes…

• To withdraw a warrant issued by a court, police will have to wait for the courts to re-open after the long weekend holiday (Wednesday).

• After the warrants are officially withdrawn, police would inform Mr Vorayuth, according to the deputy superintendent for investigation at the Thong Lor police station in Bangkok (so, police know where he is or how to contact him?).

Vorayuth Yoovidhya is the grandson of billionaire Red Bull co-founder Chaleo Yoovidhya who died six months before the hit-and-run incident back in 2012.

Justice be damned

The decision to drop all charges against the heir to the Red Bull energy drink empire has sparked public outrage on Thai social media over the impunity enjoyed by the rich in Thailand, a common thread. Neither the police nor the Office of the Attorney-General have provided any details about the factors that led to their decisions. They’ve not called a local media conference to answer questions about the controversial cases but simply maintained that “everything was done according to the law”.

But Thai police are claiming that they are duty-bound to comply with the decision of the Department of Southern Bangkok Criminal Litigation. Prosecutors decided late last month not to press the remaining outstanding charge of “reckless driving causing death” against Mr Vorayuth. The statute of limitations still had 7 years to run on the final charge.

Where did Thais learn about this development in the case? A leading Thai news outlet? A government leak? A police media conference? No. An article on CNN.com on July 23.

Police maintain that they may face prosecution under Section 157 of the Criminal Code, which covers “dereliction of duty by public officials”.

“Boss” was accused of driving his black Ferrari when it slammed into the back of a patrol policeman’s motorcycle “at high speed” on September 3, 2012, dragging his body along Sukhumvit Road before speeding away. The dead policeman was Pol Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert, 47 at the time and based at the Thong Lor police station.

“Wichian, a Thai police senior sergeant-major, was riding a motorcycle when he was hit by a speeding Ferrari which dragged his body along the road for over 100 metres before it fled the scene. The Ferrari was later found to have been driven by Vorayuth, a grandson of billionaire Red Bull co-founder Chaleo Yoovidhya.

Vorauth’s lawyer later claimed that Vorayuth’s high blood alcohol levels were due to his drinking at home due to stress following the accident and that he had left the scene to inform his family of what had happened. Vorayuth initially claimed that Suwet Hom-ubol, Vorayuth’s aide and chauffeur, had been behind the wheel during the incident, but later admitted to driving the car himself.

Suwet would later be charged with making false statements to the police. An investigating police officer, Pol Lt Colonel Pannaphol Nammueng, allegedly urged Suwet to pretend to be the Ferrari driver in the fatal hit-and-run. The case has caused continuing outrage in Thailand.” – Wikipedia

It soon emerged that Mr Vorayuth’s lawyer met with a lawyer representing the relatives of Pol Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert and agreed on compensation payments in an undisclosed out-of-court settlement. The relatives reportedly decided not to file civil and criminal suits against Mr Vorayuth. But this wouldn’t prevent the state from pursuing the Red Bull heir on criminal charges. Details of the settlement have never emerged.

But the powerful Yoovidhya family paid 3 million baht in compensation to siblings of the dead officer.

Associated Press contacted Porn-anant Klunprasert, the brother of the policeman killed in the hit-and-run incident. He acknowledged signing a contract for 3 million baht in return for not pressing charges. “Blood money” payments remain a cultural norm in many such cases in exchange for justice being financially coerced to turn a blind eye.

But Porn-anant also says that he regretted the decision to drop charges.

“It shows no justice for the poor. Thailand has a very wide gap between the rich and the poor in every aspect, and this case is a clear example.”

Despite his mea culpa moment his family didn’t offer to return the money.

Work commitments

In April 2017, Vorayuth failed for the 8th time to appear in court to answer the charges against him, again citing “work commitments”. But on April 28, 2017 the criminal court approved an arrest warrant for Vorayuth but he’d already fled to Singapore, where he abandoned his private jet. Somehow, the day before, he’d been able to fly out of Thailand. Undetected?!?! Interpol confirmed that Vorayuth departed Singapore on April 27. It was thought he made his way to the UK where the family owns property.

Authorities finally issued an arrest warrant the next month to revoke Boss’s Thai passport, but by that stage Vorayuth had long gone. His current whereabouts are unclear but the media, not the police, have been able to track him down in various places around the world and snapped a few photos (which are the same 5 or 6 photos the media keep recycling).

The Thai authorities’ prevarication and bungling efforts to bring Boss to justice for his alleged crimes remains a sore spot for Thais as the case symbolises the double-standards of Thai justice and the untouchability of the wealthy and privileged classes in the country.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | CNN | NPR

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    Sunday, July 26, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    “Despite his mea culpa moment his family didn’t offer to return the money.”

    Nice dig at the poor people there from the “journalist”. Surely it dawns on the writer that the recipients might be terrified of dealing with such a rich family, as well as being desperate for the measly 100,000 USD. It’s easy to imagine in the West taking legal action and increasing compensation and getting a successful prosecution… but this isn’t the west… and that’s surely the point of the article… surprising to see the author have a dig like that in an article like this…

  2. Avatar

    MARK GOODYEAR

    Sunday, July 26, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    the words “red bull cunt” spring to mind… similar to the thai king!!!

    • Avatar

      Marino

      Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 1:40 pm

      Please delete this comment. It’s an insult to His Majesty the King.

  3. Avatar

    LingLik

    Monday, July 27, 2020 at 5:59 am

    Good old Thai justice – if you’re rich and put money in the right pockets you can get away with murder. Disgusting travesty. This family doesn’t have one ounce of decency, nor do the police and judiciary that pocketed bribes and looked the other way.

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    Maybe this matter is another example of the cultural norm the author mentioned in the article above.

  5. Avatar

    Paul Blake

    Sunday, August 9, 2020 at 11:45 am

    “What comes around, goes around! And the Thailand Legal System has certainly acted like an idiot! An IDIOT who is trying to pull on their jockey shorts with their big toe caught in the waistband, hopping from one side of the room to the other! Stubbornly refusing to follow The Rule of Gravity?…

    Or in this case; “Equal Justice Under The Law!”… Hey, “You Total ASS,” if you will not follow the LAW, “THAN QUIT YOUR JOB, AND LET THE THOSE WITH HONOR, REPLACE YOU!”

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Crime

Immigration police arrest Frenchman on drug charges, 3 other foreigners for overstay

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Immigration police arrest Frenchman on drug charges, 3 other foreigners for overstay | Thaiger

Immigration police arrested a French man who was allegedly involved in a crime network who allegedly smuggled cannabis, and arrested 3 other foreigners on overstay charges. Police say the crime network sold cannabis to foreigners living in tourist cities in Thailand.

Officers say they suspect there are more people involved in the alleged smuggling operation on the Eastern seaboard, which includes Chon Buri and Rayong. Police are now launching an investigation.

Police were tipped off earlier this year about an alleged French gang selling cannabis to tourists. Apparently, the drug suspects would rent rooms to store the cannabis and frequently change locations. Foreigners had rented a room off a soi in Bangkok, but the manager noticed they were acting suspicious. No one appeared to actually be living in the room and people would stop by the room for less than an hour, the manager told police.

Police arrested a man who was stopping by the room. Officers say the 28 year old, identified as Samy, had a suitcase filled with dried cannabis and scales. He faces charges for possession and distribution of a Category 5 narcotic.

The police went to the man’s apartment in the Charoen Nakhon area and arrested 2 French nationals, ages 27 and 28, and a 29 year old woman from the UK for overstaying their visas. Police say they had thrown cannabis and smoking equipment out the window before officers entered the room.

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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Thailand hoping to be upgraded to a Tier 1 nation in anti-human trafficking efforts

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Thailand hoping to be upgraded to a Tier 1 nation in anti-human trafficking efforts | Thaiger
Stock photo via Flickr

Thailand is hoping its newest anti-human trafficking report will earn an upgrade from the US from Tier 2 to Tier 1. The report was submitted to the Washington’s Trafficking in Persons Report. Deputy government spokeswoman, Rachada Dhnadirek, said the government is ready to be upgraded after remaining on Tier 2 for 3 years in a row. Those nations who fall on the Tier 2, are deemed to not be fully complying with the minimum standards set out in the US’ Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Those on the Tier 2, however, are supposed to be making efforts to comply with the minimum standards.

Before 2018, Thailand was placed in Tier 3, which is for nations who don’t fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making efforts to do so. Then, Thailand was upgraded to Tier 2 after making progress compared to the previous year.

Rachada says Thailand submitted the 2020 TIP Report on February 2 and a report on progress in its anti-human trafficking operations from January to March of this year to the US embassy on April 3. The data includes the number of arrests and punishments for human-trafficking offences. Thailand also has created a new plan, making it the first in Asia to introduce such a plan. That plan is called the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights.

Rachada says now Thailand is processing human trafficking cases more quickly by shortening the investigation time to 70 days as of last year. In 2015, the investigation time was 118 days. She says the country has also set up centres to help LGBT human-trafficking victims as well as helping migrant workers with work-related issues.

Thailand has also introduced the PROTECT-U app for smartphones in which human-trafficking victims can access protection and launch complaints in 7 different languages. The app was developed by the Social Development and Human Security Ministry.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Phuket man shot by off-duty police officer now paralysed

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Phuket man shot by off-duty police officer now paralysed | Thaiger
Phuket Police Station / Google Maps

A 25 year old Phuket man who was allegedly beaten and shot by an off-duty, drunken police officer, will never walk again as he remains paralysed in the hospital. The news, according to doctors at Vachira Phuket Hospital, comes after Aroon Thongplab, was shot from a close range, with the bullet hitting his spine.

The man was a noodle vendor and was collecting a bowl from a customer on Bangla Road when he was allegedly shot by Pornthep Channarong of the Phuket Provincial Police at around 6am. Doctors told his wife about his prognosis after he woke up from a coma and underwent surgery to increase his prospects of being able to sit up. His wife, who is only known by her surname as Kulthida, told The Phuket News that she received news that he would never walk again.

“He cannot feel or move the lower part from his waist. Doctors just gave him spine surgery last week, so that he can sit. However, the doctors cannot assure that the surgery will work. We have to wait to see if his recovery goes well along with physiotherapy.”

Pornthep was discharged from the Royal Thai Police less than a day after he allegedly shot the noodle vendor. Now, he is facing charges of attempted murder, firing a weapon in a public area, and carrying a firearm in a public area without a necessary reason. But those charges have come slowly, according to Kulthida.

“I have already asked Patong Police, and they told me that at this stage the report to file (with the public prosecutor) is about 90% complete. I am also waiting for a notice from the court. Today, officers from Region 8 Police came to the hospital to question Aroon, but he has not been able to speak… I asked them about the bail conditions, and they told me that the suspect is still in jail.”

The Phuket Provincial Court is allowing Pornthep to go out on bail, despite the Royal Thai Police asking the court to keep in locked up.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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