Connect with us

News

Heir today, gone tomorrow. Tracking down Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya.

Tanutam Thawan

Published

 on 

The disappearance of difficult-to-find Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya is not a simple police conspiracy to ‘protect’ the hi-so heir to the Red Bull fortune. There is a complex web of strategies by the Yoovidhya family to make sure he is difficult to track down – not just Boss but the whole family, and their money.

The Bangkok billionaire family responsible for co-founding Red Bull, the sugary energy drink and world top-seller, uses offshore companies to hide the purchase of their jets and luxury properties. This includes the family’s fancy London digs where Boss was last seen, and photographed, by an Associated Press reporter.

But, to be clear, the family are not doing anything illegal. Moving assets offshore plus some clever accounting can operate entirely within the law, an indication of how easily the biggest players can move their fortunes around and, usually legally, avoid paying a lot of tax and keeping their whereabouts secret.

In the case of the Yoovidhya clan, their confidential world network of financial dealings came to light as the media and officials started to track down the fugitive son. He remains on the run after failing to show up to Court to answer charges relating to a hit and run back in 2012 when the Ferrari he was driving hit a traffic policemen, killing him instantly, dragging the body along the road and then driving home rather than reporting the incident to police.

Hundreds of Instagram and Facebook postings led The Associated Press reporter to the Yoovidhyas’ London vacation home. They seemed to be able to do what the Thai Police couldn’t – locate the fugitive. Since then, Thai authorities have revoked his passport and issued an arrest warrant, but claim they currently have no idea where he is. Just two weeks ago the final paperwork to submit the arrest warrant through Interpol was stalled when the ‘address’ section of the paperwork was missing. This followed a comedy of errors when it took four months to translate the Thai warrant into English.

The investigation into Vorayuth’s location also, inadvertently, led to the Panama Papers, a collection of 11 million secret financial documents showing how the world’s wealthiest families hide their money and shuffle it around through a web of slick paperwork and skilled international accountanting. The Yoovidhya family’s financial arrangements were exposed in the Panama Papers when they were leaked by the German newspaper Sudeutsche Zeitung. The powerful and wealthy in 70 countries were exposed as journalists started sifting through the fine print of the documents.

The Yoovidhya family’s network of offshore companies, set up by Mossack Fonseca (a ‘leading global provider for legal and trust services’ according to their Google listing), was so intricate that, until now, they’ve managed to keep the family name and Red Bull brand out of the spotlight

We now know that the Yoovidhya family has at least six offshore, anonymous companies. Their assets have been heading offshore to tax havens for up to 20 years. Again, none of this is illegal and is ubiquitous for the wealthy around the world to use shell companies and tax havens to keep the tax man, governments, police and prying journalists at bay.

Since 2012, Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya has repeatedly failed to show up when ordered to face criminal charges of speeding, hit-and-run, and reckless driving causing death. Thai, world media, and local social media, have not been lenient on the 32 year old Red Bull heir. The common theme is that wealth and fame can buy your freedom in Thailand and that the police have either been incompetent or colluded with his inability to turn up to Court hearings.

The last time Boss was seen was in April at his London home, tracked down by a reporter with no more than a laptop, Facebook and some persistence. The AP reporter also showed that, in the years since the fatal accident, Boss had been travelling the world in the family’s private jets, going to Red Bull events and enjoying the high-life in the world’s most expensive cities and holiday locations.

Even if Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya never returns to Thailand to answer the charges against him, the legacy of this case is a general outcry from ordinary Thai people that the rich and famous need to be treated just the same as everyone else – for a change. The media has also exposed the investigating police officers to ridicule where a sole reporter and a few days work was able to do something the entire Royal Thai Police force couldn’t.

PHOTO: Toronto Sun

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

New site for foreigner vaccine; Mor Prom deletes appointments

Politics3 hours ago

Facebook fake news post suggesting a coup faces prosecution

Koh Samui7 hours ago

UPDATED: Samui Covid-19: 14 new Black Club infections, 2nd small cluster

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand8 hours ago

40,000 cases a day could happen by September, says projection

Phuket8 hours ago

Phuket Sandbox Covid-19 infections: 35 today, 209 this week

Thailand9 hours ago

Prayut says he will not resign, warns politicians to behave

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand10 hours ago

Bangkok Train market to possibly close for good

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Border between Kanchanaburi and Myanmar closed until…

Thailand11 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 18,912 infections, provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

PCD says don’t throw away used masks in water bottles after infections linked to bottles

Thailand13 hours ago

Government says it’s okay to criticise them, if it’s fact based

Thailand14 hours ago

Bangkok volunteer group “Sai Mai Will Survive” overwhelmed with calls

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Phuket reservations slow down for August

Thailand18 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 18,912 infections, news briefs

Drugs24 hours ago

Police nab 600kg heroin drug bust, year’s biggest in Northeast

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending