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Interpol Issues ‘Red Notice’ for Thai Red Bull Heir

作者:admin 2020-10-06

Interpol Issues ‘Red Notice’ for Thai Red Bull Heir  第1张Vorayuth Yoovidhaya in 2017. The heir to the Red Bull fortune fled the country that year, shortly before the first warrant for his arrest was issued.Credit...Matt Dunham/Associated Press

BANGKOK — Interpol has issued a new “red notice” for the fugitive heir to the Red Bull fortune who fled Thailand after his Ferrari struck and killed a police officer in 2012, the police in Thailand said.

The notice by the global police agency, its highest-level alert, comes after the police in Thailand reopened the case. The authorities, widely criticized for dropping charges against Vorayuth Yoovidhaya, the grandson of the inventor of the energy drink, are seeking Interpol’s help in arresting him, a police spokesman said on Monday.

“We will do whatever it takes to bring him back,” said Col. Kissana Phathanacharoen, deputy spokesman for the Royal Thai Police. “We have been working around the clock to get him back to the country.”

The case against Mr. Vorayuth, 37, who goes by the nickname Boss, had long been cited as evidence of the special treatment Thailand’s elite receives. The decision to drop charges against him in July was held up as a further example of impunity.

ImageInterpol Issues ‘Red Notice’ for Thai Red Bull Heir  第3张

Soon after the crash, Mr. Vorayuth’s family paid the police officer’s family nearly $100,000 in compensation. Mr. Vorayuth resumed his jet-set lifestyle, traveling around the world on private Red Bull jets, keeping a Porsche in London and staying in luxury hotels.

After much public outrage over the decision to drop the case, the police reversed themselves in August, saying they had obtained new information and would reopen it. Colonel Kissana declined to discuss the new evidence, saying, “According to the law, if we receive new evidence, we are entitled to reopen the case.”

He said Interpol issued the red notice on Wednesday. It has gone out to the international police agency’s other 193 member countries requesting help in locating Mr. Vorayuth, but the agency has yet to receive any new information on his whereabouts. Interpol previously issued a red notice for the Red Bull heir, but it did not lead to his arrest and was canceled after the Thai police dropped the case in July.

The collision that killed the police officer, Wichean Glanprasert, occurred just before dawn in September 2012. The driver fled the scene, but a trail of leaking engine fluid led the police to Mr. Vorayuth’s door and to a damaged Ferrari nearby.

The police initially arrested the family’s driver and were accused of trying to force him to take the blame. Bangkok’s police commissioner at the time, who took over the investigation, said it had been an attempt at a cover-up.

The police also acknowledged that the wealthy playboy had been intoxicated and had admitted that his car hit the officer. But Mr. Vorayuth told them the officer, who was riding a motorcycle, had swerved in front of him. He was released on bail.

During the investigation, Mr. Vorayuth repeatedly ignored police summonses. He fled the country in 2017, shortly before the first warrant for his arrest was issued.

The statute of limitations has expired for some of the original charges, but he still faces a charge of reckless driving resulting in someone’s death, among other possible charges.

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