Accused Red Bull Heir's Trail Has Gone Cold

Another of the charges against Vorayuth Yoovidhya has effectively expired
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 1, 2017 10:19 AM CDT
Accused Red Bull Heir's Trail Has Gone Cold
In this April 15, 2017, file photo, 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.    (Matt Dunham)

As a hit-and-run charge effectively expires, the whereabouts of an heir to the Red Bull energy-drink empire accused of killing a Bangkok police officer five years ago remain unknown. The fugitive, whose family is worth billions, has apparently found a way to disappear. The AP recently confirmed Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya's last known location: Taiwan. Two sources with knowledge of the investigation said he flew there from Singapore, where he had fled shortly before he was supposed to make an April court appearance in Bangkok. The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Vorayuth stayed at the luxurious Mandarin Oriental in Taipei before leaving the island May 3. Since then, the trail has gone cold.

The statute of limitations on the hit-and-run charge Vorayuth faces expires Sunday, though it effectively ended at 5pm Friday, said Prayuth Petchkhun, a deputy spokesman for the attorney general's office. "After that, even if you found the suspect, you wouldn't be able to bring him to the court until Monday," he said. The expired charge might have been easier to prove than what would be the sole remaining count against him: causing death by reckless driving. Vorayuth is accused of slamming his Ferrari into motorcycle police Sgt. Maj. Wichean Glanprasert in 2012 and dragging the officer's body down a main Bangkok street before racing home. For more than four years, Vorayuth has missed court appearances while living a high-flying and even public life. International attention brought to the case renewed cries of impunity and corruption in Thailand. (More Vorayuth Yoovidhya stories.)

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