Law Might Be Finally Catching Up to Red Bull Heir

5 years after fatal hit-and-run, arrest warrant will be sought
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 27, 2017 2:06 PM CDT
Law Catching Up to Red Bull Heir Accused of Killing Cop
Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya, whose grandfather co-founded energy drink company Red Bull, walks to get in a car as he leaves a house in London, Wednesday, April 5, 2017.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

An heir to the Red Bull fortune failed to show up Thursday to face charges over an alleged hit-and-run that killed a Thai police officer almost five years ago, as Bangkok prosecutors declared they would now seek a warrant for his arrest, the AP reports. Prayuth Petchkhun, a deputy spokesman for the attorney general's office, told the AP that Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya failed to meet a 4pm deadline. His office had said that if Vorayuth failed to appear, it would send his case to the police on Friday so they can ask the court for an arrest warrant. "If it turns out that he is in Thailand, Thai police can find him and arrest him. But if he is abroad we will then begin the extradition process," Prayuth said. Vorayuth has been a no-show for meetings with prosecutors on several occasions, complaining through his attorney of unfair treatment or citing duties abroad.

A recent AP report revealed that he's been living lavishly, traveling to Formula One races, snowboarding in Japan, and cruising in Venice. The case is one of several involving the offspring of Thailand's elite that have attracted public scorn as examples of judicial impunity in which the well-connected are able to avoid or delay justice in ways that ordinary Thais wouldn't be able to. On Thursday, prosecutors rejected Vorayuth's latest request for a delay and said he must show up by 4pm. Vorayuth is accused of fleeing the scene of a 2012 crash in his Ferrari after allegedly hitting a police officer on motorcycle patrol; he was charged with speeding, hit-and-run, and deadly, reckless driving. The speeding charge expired after a year; the hit-and-run charge, which carries a penalty of up to six months in jail, expires Sept. 3; the reckless driving charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail, expires in 10 years if left unchallenged. (More Vorayuth Yoovidhya stories.)

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