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Hit-and-run charges against Red Bull heir “Boss” Yoovidhya dropped

In a shock ending to a case which has dragged on for years, charges against Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya, in a 2012 hit and run incident – one that resulted in a police officer’s death – have been dropped. Vorayuth is heir to the Red Bull fortune and a member of one of Thailand’s wealthiest families.

The Office of the Attorney General of Thailand made the decision to stop pursuing the charges against Yoovidhya in a court of law, resulting in Thai police reportedly dropping the charges.

As a spokesman for the Royal Thai Police told CNN this morning that the department has followed the decision of the Attorney General’s office and revoked the warrant for Yoovidhya’s arrest. The deputy head of Bangkok’s Thonglor police station, also reportedly confirmed the revocation of the arrest warrant to the associated press.

For years, Yoovidhya had an Interpol “red notice”, meaning a worldwide request for his arrest pending extradition, but the notice mysteriously disappeared from the Interpol website earlier this year and no explanation has been given. Interpol declined to discuss individual cases but told the Bangkok Post that generally a published notice is removed from its website if “the suspect has been arrested and extradited or died, the country which requested it has withdrawn its request, the judicial authorities in the country behind the notice have withdrawn the national arrest warrant against a suspect, the notice is the subject of an appeal or the notice has been cancelled or the status of the notice has changed from public to restricted”.

35 year old Boss had been facing charges of speeding, hit-and-run and reckless driving causing death. They relate to the 2012 incident in which Boss, driving a black Ferrari, hit a police officer and allegedly fled the scene, after dragging the officer for some distance. The officer later died. Boss allegedly admitted to driving the vehicle but claimed that the police officer had cut in front of him. The case caused widespread outrage in Thailand. Boss was allegedly under the influence of alcohol at the time.

Authorities claimed they had been searching for Boss, who missed at least 8 court appearances over at least 5 years before managing to flee the country. Officially, Boss has been “missing” for years, although he has been spotted in public numerous times in London and elsewhere. Thai police claim they have been trying to find him.

Boss is the son of Thailand’s second richest man and the grandson of the founder of Red Bull. His father’s estimated wealth is in the billions of dollars, according to Forbes magazine.

Red Bull has not released a public statement.

SOURCES: Reuters |Bangkok Post | The Pattaya News

This post was last modified on July 24, 2020 6:39 pm

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Jack Burton

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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  • Ah Vorayuth a member of one of Thailand's wealthiest families was innocent all the time then?
    So he need not have missed all those 8 court summonses and fled abroad for years.
    Students, don't buy Red Bull.

    • It’s how Thai justice works family would prefer this than send him to jail - does not meet the sense of Justice that we believe in where we are from - but it’s not uncommon in poor countries . The wife of an American Servicemen escaped justice in the UK after killing a teenage on his motorbike and escaped under diplomatic immunity - which is worse ?

      • Not an American serviceman, a diplomat. If it were a serviceman's wife she probably would not have escaped justice.

        • her husband was a civilian intelligence analyst (probably CIA)she cannot claim diplomatic immunity as a spouse. UK asked Trump to send her back he refused.
          It's not just 3rd world countries, Western countries do the same sort of thing with anyone that is wealthy or connected

  • I used to spend my vacation (and money) in Thailand for 10 years. The rule of law is not existent. I will not spend my vacation there. So sorry, because I love Thailand, I love Thai people and Thai culture.

  • You can't change Thailand, just like you can't change China.
    What you can do, is stop buying and supporting Red Bull in your own country, just like you can stop buying and supporting Huawei. They can choose their own path, and we can choose ours. It's up to them what kind of country they want to be and up to us how we treat and regard them in response.

    I agree about the Sacoolas point, I hope Mr Raab mentioned it to Mr Pompeo, who doesn't seem to understand artcle 32 of the 1961 Vienna Convention (Treaty) regarding immunity.

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