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Thai Prosecutors to Seek Arrest Warrant for Red Bull Heir

  • Associated Press

FILE - Policemen examine a damaged Ferrari at the home of the late Red Bull founder Chaleo Yoovidhaya in Bangkok, Sept. 3, 2012.The grandson of the owner of Red Bull — the famous energy drink from Thailand — has been linked to the hit-and-run death of a police officer.

Thai prosecutors will ask police to issue an arrest warrant for an heir to the Red Bull fortune if he does not show up to face charges over an alleged hit-and-run that killed a police officer almost five years ago, officials said Thursday.

Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya has been a no-show for meetings with prosecutors on several occasions, complaining through his attorney of unfair treatment or citing duties abroad. A recent Associated Press report revealed that he's been living lavishly, traveling to Formula One races, snowboarding in Japan and cruising in Venice.

On Thursday, prosecutors rejected his latest request for a delay and said he must show up by 4 p.m.

FILE - Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya, center, whose grandfather co-founded energy drink company Red Bull, is escorted by police in Bangkok, Thailand, Sept. 3, 2012.
FILE - Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya, center, whose grandfather co-founded energy drink company Red Bull, is escorted by police in Bangkok, Thailand, Sept. 3, 2012.

"The suspect must meet prosecutors as scheduled. If he does not, it would mean he has the intention of delaying and evading the case and we will proceed with requesting an arrest warrant from the court," Somnuek Siangkong, spokesman for the office of the Attorney General, said at a news conference.

If he fails to show up, prosecutors said they will ask for the warrant to be issued Friday morning.

Vorayuth is accused of fleeing the scene of a 2012 crash in his Ferrari after allegedly hitting a police officer on motorcycle patrol.

Vorayuth has failed to show up when ordered to face criminal charges of speeding, hit-and-run, and deadly, reckless driving. Police say Vorayuth disputes the reckless driving charge, claiming the officer swerved in front of him. The speeding charge expired after a year. The more serious charge of hit-and-run, which police say carries a penalty of up to six months in jail, expires Sept. 3.

The reckless driving charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail, expires in 10 years if left unchallenged.

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