Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Extradition of Vorayuth moves a slow step forward

Jul 21. 2017
Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya
Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya
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By Jessada Jantarak
The Nation

3,432 Viewed

Police have made little progress in efforts to extradite Red Bull heir Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya to face charges related to a much-publicised fatal hit-and-run accident in 2012.

Translations of the investigation report are now ready start the extradition process.

Vorayuth, a grandson of Red Bull co-founder Chaleo Yoovidhya, made headlines five years ago for allegedly running over a junior police officer in Bangkok’s Thonglor area, dragging the victim’s body under his Ferrari for several metres, and then speeding away. 

Earlier this year, Vorayuth managed to sneak out of Thailand just days before his case went to the court. Thai authorities have since been criticised for perceived failure to strictly enforce laws against the billionaire suspect.

Criticism grew after a senior prosecutor revealed recently that Thonglor Police Station had still not submitted the translations of its investigation report to initiate the extradition request. 

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Pol Lt General Sanit Mahathavorn on Friday said: “The translations were forwarded to the National Police Office’s Foreign Affairs Division on Thursday.” 

He said the next step was for the National Police Office to contact the Office of the Attorney-General to proceed further with the extradition. 

Dismissing suggestions that police shielded the super rich, Sanit, said: “I can assure you that police enforce laws equally. Some cases may face delays but we will improve on that.”

Sanit refused to comment on the National Anti-Corruption Commission’s (NACC) decision to investigate seven commissioned police officers for allegedly trying to help Vorayuth out of his legal trouble. 

Among them are Pol Maj General Kris Piakaew, a former chief of the Metropolitan Police Division 5, and Pol Colonel Chumpol Pumpuang, a former superintendent of the Thonglor Police Station.

The statute of limitations for several of Vorayuth’s alleged offences – speeding and reckless driving causing property damages – has already expired. 

Currently, Vorayuth stands accused of reckless driving that resulted in death and failing to stop to assist his victim. The former has a 15-year statute of limitation, which ends in September 2027, while the latter’s statute of limitations will expire on September 3.

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