Ex-police chief, lawyer accused of involvement in altering Red Bull heir hit-and-run report

Former police chief Somyot Poompanmoung, who is also president of the Football Association of Thailand / Photo via Facebook/ FA Thailand

A former national police chief and a lawyer for the fugitive Red Bull heir, Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya, are being investigated over the 2012 fatal hit-and-run case and are accused of ordering an officer to change the reported speed the billionaire was driving when sped his Ferrari through Bangkok’s Thong Lor district, running over a police officer and killing him. Reports say they allegedly told an investigation officer to change the speed from 177 kilometres per hour to just 76 kilometres per hour.

Changing the speed is said to have led to prosecutors to drop the charge of reckless driving causing death. The billionaire managed to evade justice and fled the country in 2017, ditching his private jet in Singapore.

Nation Thailand reports that a Royal Thai Police special committee will investigate the ex-police chief, Somyot Pumphanmuang, and the lawyer, Thanit Buakhiew, to determine whether they changed the report on the actual speed Boss was driving when he hit the police officer.

The Police Internal Affairs chief who chairs the committee said yesterday that the investigation officer in the hit-and-run case presented an audio clip to the committee where the then-police chief and Boss’s attorney told him to change the speed from 177 kilometres per hour to just 76.

The committee’s chairperson says the audio recording will be reviewed and officers will investigate to determine if anyone else was involved. He says the committee is expected to reach a conclusion by the November 10 deadline.

“The reported reduction in car speed was the reason why the public prosecutor decided to drop the charge of reckless driving against Vorayuth… The committee will now carefully analyse the clip, interview Pol General Somyot and Thanit, and conduct further investigations to find if there were any other individuals involved in altering the true speed of Vorayuth’s car.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tanutam Thawan

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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