Thailand approves new warrant against Red Bull heir over hit-and-run case

Thailand approves new warrant against Red Bull heir over hit-and-run case

Vorayuth Red Bull
Vorayuth Yoovidhya, grandson of late Red Bull founder Chaleo Yoovidhaya, is seen in Bangkok during a police investigation into a hit-and-run accident. (File photos: AFP/STR)

BANGKOK: A Thai court on Tuesday (Aug 25) issued a new arrest warrant for the heir to the Red Bull energy drink fortune over his alleged involvement in a fatal hit-and-run accident in 2012, police said.

Vorayuth Yoovidhya was accused of crashing his Ferrari into a policeman, Wichien Klanprasert, and dragging his body for dozens of metres before fleeing.

Authorities last month unexpectedly dropped the case, sparking public criticism that prompted a government review.

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On Tuesday the criminal court in Bangkok approved a new arrest warrant for Vorayuth on previous charges of reckless driving causing death and a new charge of drug use, assistant national police chief Pol Lt Gen Jaruwat Waisaya told Reuters.

Vorayuth missed eight court summonses before authorities issued an arrest warrant five years after the incident. He later disappeared, apparently abroad, according to social media posts.

Vorayuth's lawyer, Samack Chouvaparnante, told Reuters he had no knowledge of the new warrant and had not been in touch with his client.

TCP Group, which owns the Thai Red Bull brand, has previously said it has no direct links with Vorayuth. His late grandfather Chaleo Yoovidhya created the energy drink and his father has part ownership of the international Red Bull brand.

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A panel this month revisited evidence previously not included in police reports which suggests that Vorayuth's car was travelling faster than previously thought, and reviewed a blood test taken after the accident that pointed to traces of cocaine in his system.

"We will submit a new report within two weeks so the public prosecutor can issue a issue a prosecution order," Jaruwat said.

Source: Reuters/jt

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