Bad news for Boss as Thai prosecutors put him back on the ‘wanted’ list

3 weeks ago Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya must have thought it was Christmas after charges him were dropped by the Office of the Attorney General (for reasons that still remain a mystery), and then police said he was free to return to Thailand. That’s now all changed and the fugitive now finds himself a wanted man again with some charges reinstated and a few more added.

Evidence of cocaine abuse emerged last month. Upset with the decision not to prosecute Vorayuth, a lawyer released results of a blood test taken by the Red Bull heir following the hit-and-run incident. It came back positive for metabolytes showing cocaine abuse.

Amid the prevarication and confusion, Thailand’s justice system has again shown itself to be a unpredictable beast when it comes to its uneven approach to justice, depending on your family name and who you know.

Vorayuth was facing a slew of charges back in 2012 after his family-owned Ferrari hit a 47 year old motorcycle policeman, at speed, in Thong Lor, Bangkok. Boss avoided facing courts 8 times before eventually fleeing the country in 2017. He was 27 years old at the time of the incident and has kept a low profile whilst living as a wanted man overseas.

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Now police are attempting to bring 2 charges against Boss… reckless driving causing death and illicit use of cocaine, the latter only coming to light in recent weeks. Thailand’s National Police Commissioner says he will oversee the fresh investigation himself, trying to wind back some of the poor worldwide PR the Thai police force and justice system has received over the matter.

No fewer than 4 Senate committees and a fact-finding committee set up by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha have forced a back-flip from the Attorney general office and the resignation of the deputy AG. In June, police endorsed the OAG’s decision to drop all charges against the Red Bull heir and part of the rich and powerful Yoovidhya family.

With public anger over the matter becoming a major PR problem for the government, PM Prayut moved to set up the fact-finding panel, led by respected graft-buster Vicha Mahakhun.

Meanwhile, the OAG and police have launched their own internal investigations into how Boss was going to be allowed to walk free. This probe concluded that 14 policemen might have been guilty, 11 of whom have already been implicated by the National Anti-Corruption Commission over the handling of the case. Then you can add the assistant national police chief Pol Lt-General Permpoon Chidchob, a younger brother of influential veteran politician Newin Chidchob.

Though Permpoon signed an order endorsing the OAG’s decision to drop the Boss case, he claims he was just following protocol.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, are now trying to see how they can track down Boss and prosecute the charges. The statute of limitations on 4 other possible charges… drunk driving, speeding, reckless driving causing damage to another person and fail to stop to aid the victim, have already expired.

The decision to drop the charges was not even initially reported in Thailand. Instead it appeared on CNN and the matter then became a scandal in Thailand with almost universal outrage on social media, forcing the PM to take decisive action. The Yoovidhya family was also forced into publishing a half-hearted public statement from their main company, distancing themselves from the errant Red Bull heir.

Bangkok NewsCrime News
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