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Police hunt Red Bull heir after warrant issued for fatal crash

Apr 28. 2017
 Vorayuth
Vorayuth
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By THE NATION

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AN ARREST warrant was issued yesterday for Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya, the heir to the Red Bull fortune accused in the hit-and-run death of a police officer in 2012, enabling police to hunt for the 31-year-old fugitive.

Vorayuth reportedly stays in England and enjoys a jet-setting lifestyle in London and other cities across the world. National police chief Pol General Chakthip Chaijinda said that authorities would use all possible channels to locate him, including contacting British authorities. 

As Vorayuth’s status would be a fugitive following the issuance of the arrest warrant, an extradition procedure may be launched involving the Thailand-United Kingdom Extradition Treaty, he said. 

Police would still hunt for him if he moved to another country, and if he returned to Thailand he would be arrested, he said.

“Don’t worry. Thai police have been constantly trying to catch those with arrest warrants on them all along,” he added.

Chakthip’s comment followed the public prosecutors’ request for police to bring Vorayuth to hear the indictment decision soon, after Vorayuth again failed to appear before prosecutors on Thursday.

Vorayuth, who has repeatedly ignored previous summonses and is yet to be charged with a crime, was due to face his accusers on Thursday over the hit-and-run death of police Senior Sgt-Major Wichean Klinprasert on Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Road in September, 2012. 

Vorayuth’s grey Ferrari dragged the policeman’s body more than 100 metres down the road before driving off. The badly dented Ferrari was later found in the compound of the family’s home.

After Vorayuth’s lawyer again requested a postponement on the grounds that he was “preoccupied” overseas, prosecutors said he had obviously been stalling.

His delay tactic allowed him to escape from charges of speeding and reckless driving causing property damage since the statue of limitations on the two charges expired.

Vorayuth remains accused of reckless driving resulting in death, which has a 15-year statute of limitations, and refusing to stop to assist a victim, for which the statute ends in September. 

The first offence carries a maximum jail term of 10 years and the latter six months.

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