Independent panel recommend re-instatement of ‘Boss’ charges

PHOTO: So where's Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya?

Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya is likely to not only face charges of “reckless driving causing death” but also drugs charges involving Cocaine use. In another dramatic twist in the ongoing “Boss” saga, an independent panel has recommended the reckless driving charge be re-instated along with new charges of Cocaine abuse.

Nearly 2 weeks ago the deputy attorney-general, and an acting police chief, decided to drop charges of reckless driving causing death – the last, and most serious, of the charges facing Boss after the fatal hit-and-run in Bangkok in 2012.

Although police and forensic investigators initially believe Boss had driven his Ferrari at 177 kilometres per hour, they later reduced the estimated speed below 80kph after new witnesses appeared nearly 8 years after the incident. One of the new witnesses then died in a motorcycle incident last week in Chiang Mai. A new autopsy is currently underway on the man’s body after the PM ordered the seizure of the man’s body and bringing it to Bangkok for further examination.

Speaking about the case, the PM says the prosecution working group found later that Sathon Wicharnwannarak, a physics lecturer of Chulalongkorn University who worked for forensic police, had concluded that the speed of the Ferrari at the time of the crash was about 177kph. But the conclusion had not been included in police investigative report relating to the case.

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The statute of limitations on the charge of “reckless driving causing death” will not expire for another 7 years. A blood sample taken from Boss’s blood after the crash in 2012 indicated that he had abused cocaine. Police had not raised the matter in their past investigative report.

Additionally, police and prosecutors omitted the charge of “driving under the influence of alcohol” because a test on Boss, in the time after the incident, show he must have drunk after the crash… “because his blood alcohol level was so high, he would have been unable to drive”.

The latest fiasco, being played out in Thailand, remains a moot point as Boss remains on the run with his overseas location unknown to Thai police.

The dramatic turnaround on Boss’s alleged involvement in the fatal hit-and-run case in Bangkok in 2012 came after a review of the prosecution by a working group of the Office of the Attorney-General. Earlier a deputy attorney-general and an acting police chief decided not to arraign Boss on the charge of reckless driving causing death.

Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya, now 35, drove a black Ferrari that killed 47 year old policeman Wichian Klanprasert, in the early morning hours of September 3 in 2012.

He crashed into the rear of the policeman’s motorcycle on Sukhumvit Road in Thong Lor, dragging the man for 100 metres before stopping. Boss fled the scene to his house nearby. Initially the Voovidhya family’s chauffeur told police he was at the wheel of the Ferrari at the time, but police were able to ascertain that Boss was, indeed, the driver. The chauffeur was charged with hindering the investigation.

Boss then successfully dodged facing court 7 times. In April, 2017 prosecutors finally charged him with reckless driving causing death and another charge of failing to help a crash victim. 2 days later he fled Thailand on a family private Learjet, just 2 days before his next scheduled court appearance. He flew to Singapore, abandoned the jet and, as far as Thai police are concerned, vanished. Thai media were able to track Boss down on 2 occasions in the years following and were able to get some photos. The Thai police, and Interpol, have not been able to have similar success.

Boss is the son of Chalerm Yoovidhya, whose family co-owns the Red Bull energy drink empire and ranks #2 on Thailand’s richest list.

Bangkok NewsCrime News

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