Royal Thai Police ordered to find Red Bull Heir and deliver justice

The Thai prime minister wrapped up the government’s last Cabinet meeting of 2022 by demanding the Royal Thai Police (RTP) find Red Bull Heir Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya and prosecute him.

The 37 year old fled Thailand over ten years ago after a hit-and-run incident killed a police officer, Wichian Klanprasert, in Bangkok, on September 3, 2012. Boss, then 27, was charged with speeding, fleeing the scene of an accident, and reckless driving causing death, but has never been arrested.

The statute of limitations on the speeding charge expired in September 2013, and on the fleeing the scene of an accident charge in September 2017. He has remained at large ever since. Reports suggested he was living in Austria but it was never confirmed and he has never been brought to justice.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered the RTP to do more to find the grandson of billionaire Red Bull co-owner Chaleo Yoovidhya.

Government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri told the press that the prime minister gave the order at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting after the RTP provided an update on the case.

“Gen Prayut has continuously ordered the RTP to try and bring Mr Vorayuth back to the country. The RTP has also been instructed to expedite the investigation into state officials and other individuals associated with the case.”

The PM’s spokesperson did not go into details about the updated investigation.

Royal Thai Police ordered to find Red Bull Heir and deliver justice | News by Thaiger

Thai police senior sergeant-major Wichian was riding his motorcycle in the Thong Lo area of Bangkok when he was hit by Boss’ speeding Ferrari. His body was dragged along the road for over 100 metres.

Two independent teams of specialists studying the CCTV footage guessed that the Ferrari was travelling at a speed of about 177 kilometres per hour (110 mph).

Boss was charged in August 2020 with cocaine abuse in addition to reckless driving causing death. A warrant was then issued for his arrest under Section 58 of the earlier Narcotics Act of 1979, which prohibited the use of cocaine.

Offenders were liable to a jail term of between six months and three years and the statute of limitations was 10 years, which would have been September 3, 2022, for Boss.

A new narcotics law took effect on December 9 last year which meant the Narcotics Act of 1979 was cancelled.

Under Section 162 of the new law, which also prohibits the use of cocaine, a violator is liable to a jail term of up to one year and the statute of limitations was reduced to five years.

The speeding charge against Boss was dropped after its one-year statute of limitations expired in 2013, followed by another charge of failing to help a crash victim, which expired in 2017.

The only remaining charge against him is reckless driving causing death, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in jail and has a 15-year statute of limitations, which will expire in 2027.

The former director-general of the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG), Nate Naksuk, was found guilty of gross negligence for severely damaging the OAG’s reputation and authority under Sections 85 and 87 of the Civil Service Act 2010.

The panel decided after Nate dropped the charge of reckless driving causing death against Boss after the speed at which he was driving was reduced to an estimated level of below 80 kilometres per hour.

The meeting agreed Nate deserved the harshest penalty of being dismissed but they later decided to let him keep his pension.

The Red Bull Heir’s whereabouts remain unknown and the RTP still have five years to prosecute him before the case runs out.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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