BANGKOK (AP) — Charges have been dropped against a Thai heir to the Red Bull energy drink fortune who was accused in a 2012 car crash that killed a Bangkok police officer, Thai police said Friday.
Lt. Col. Thanawuth Sanguansuk from the Thong Lor police station confirmed that all charges against Vorayuth Yoovidhya had been dropped. Thanawuth said that the prosecutors who handled the prosecution of the case had informed the police last month that they have decided to drop all charges.
“Yes, they had informed us of their opinion to drop all charges. They are citing the fact the family members are compensated already,” said Thanawuth.
Vorayuth, better known by his nickname “Boss,” is wanted in connection with a hit-and-run crash in Bangkok in September 2012, in which a Thai police officer on motorcycle patrol was struck and killed by a driver in a Ferrari.
He has avoided meeting prosecutors ever since, and his case has raised allegations that Thai authorities are lenient with wealthy suspects.
Vorayuth left Thailand in April 2017, days before authorities finally issued an arrest warrant, and his Thai passports were later revoked.
The suspect originally faced three charges, but only one remained because he avoided authorities for so long. A speeding count expired in 2013, and a hit-and-run charge expired in 2017. The statute of limitations for the last charge, causing death by reckless driving, would have run out 15 years from the date of crash.
Vorayuth’s family owns about half of the Red Bull empire, which was co-founded by his grandfather.