BANGKOK — The fugitive billionaire wanted by Thai authorities on charges of hit-and-run is currently residing in Dubai, a well placed source said Monday.
Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya chose the United Arab Emirates city as his refuge over other overseas residence owned by his family due to the international pressure over his case, according to the source, who spoke on a condition of anonymity.
The same source suggested that a certain Thai politician who’s also residing in Dubai might have assisted Vorayuth in his relocation.
Assistant national police commissioner Jaruwat Waisaya, who oversees the investigation into Vorayuth, said police are looking into the claim.
Investigators were ordered to write to the UAE embassy in Bangkok to inquire whether Vorayuth is indeed living in Dubai, and the police will ask the prosecutors to issue a formal extradition request if Vorayuth’s whereabouts is confirmed, Lt. Gen. Jaruwat said.
The heir to the Red Bull energy drink empire is wanted in Thailand for killing a policeman on duty with his Ferrari in 2012. He never stood trial for the charges, since police allowed him to leave the country just before arrest warrants were approved.
Vorayuth’s attorney team argued the case against him is politically motivated, and pointed to discrepancies in the speed Vorayuth was believed to be driving when he crashed into and killed Sgt. Maj. Wichian Klanprasert.
The police said last week a Red Notice has been issued for Vorayuth by the Interpol, which would alert the Intepol’s member nations to seek his whereabouts.
Dubai is also home to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, whose elected government was toppled in a 2006 military coup, though he remained exceedingly influential over his political faction.