Death of Wichian Klanprasert

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Wichian Klanprasert, a Thai police officer, was killed by Vorayuth Yoovidhya, grandson of billionaire Red Bull co-founder Chaleo Yoovidhya, in a hit-and-run incident in Bangkok, Thailand, on 3 September 2012.

Vorayuth was charged with speeding, fleeing the scene of an accident, and reckless driving causing death, but has never been arrested, the statute of limitations on the speeding charge expired in September 2013, and on the fleeing the scene of an accident charge in September 2017.

The case is widely seen as an example of how the affluent in Thai society are able to escape the criminal justice system.[1][2][3]

2012 hit-and-run[edit]

Wichian, a Thai police sergeant-major, was riding a motorcycle when he was hit by a speeding Ferrari which dragged his body along the road for over 100 metres before fleeing the scene, the Ferrari was later found to have been driven by Vorayuth, a grandson of billionaire Red Bull co-founder Chaleo Yoovidhya. The case caused outrage in Thailand, as Vorauth's lawyer later claimed that Vorayuth's high blood alcohol levels were due to his drinking at home due to stress following the accident, and he had left the scene to inform his family of what had happened.[4] Vorayuth initially claimed that Suwet Hom-ubol, Vorayuth's aide and chauffeur had been behind the wheel during the incident, but later admitted to driving the car himeself, while Suwet would later be charged for making false statements to the police.[5]

Subsequent events[edit]

Despite assurances by then-Police Commissioner Comronwit Toopgrajank that the case would be taken seriously, as of April 2017 Vorayuth had yet to be indicted, as his lawyers had repeatedly postponed summons by the Attorney-General, claiming illness, overseas business and unfair treatment, and the statute of limitations expired for several charges.

In April 2017, Yorayuth failed for the eighth time to appear in court to answer the charges against him, citing work commitments.[6]

On 28 April 2017 the Criminal Court approved an arrest warrant for Vorayuth, however he had already fled to Singapore, where he abandoned his private jet. Interpol confirmed that Vorayuth left Singapore on 27 April.[7] Thai police requested that his Thai passport be cancelled and this was done in early May 2017.[8][9][10][11][12]

On 28 August 2017 it was reported that Interpol had issued a Red Notice for the arrest of Vorayuth.[13][8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Red Bull heir enjoys jet-set life 4 years after hit-and-run". Associated Press. 28 March 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  2. ^ Head, Jonathan (2 April 2017). "The untouchable Red Bull heir in Thailand". BBC News. Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  3. ^ Hunter, Brad; Sun, Toronto. "Spoiled brat Red Bull heir wins new delay". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 6 May 2017. 
  4. ^ World (3 September 2012). "Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya stonewalls prosecutors years after alleged hit-and-run". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  5. ^ Star, The. "Red Bull heir may face manslaughter charge". Nationmultimedia.com. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  6. ^ "As latest deadline passes today, Red Bull heir a no-show…again Profile". Reuters. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  7. ^ PCL., Post Publishing. "'Boss' leaves private jet in Singapore". bangkokpost.com. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Star, The. "Boss Passport Revoked". www.bangkokpost.com. Retrieved 5 May 2017. 
  9. ^ "Wanted Thai Red Bull heir Vorayuth 'not in Singapore'". 4 May 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk. 
  10. ^ "Thailand police get arrest warrant for Red Bull heir". aljazeera.com. Retrieved 1 May 2017. 
  11. ^ Thomson Reuters (4 May 2017). "Fugitive Red Bull heir abandons private jet, disappears". CBC News. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  12. ^ "Thailand revokes fugitive Red Bull heir's passport". abc.net.au. 6 May 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  13. ^ AP, Jerry Harmer /. "Interpol Arrest Notice Issued for Fugitive Red Bull Heir". Time. Retrieved 30 August 2017.