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Cocaine charge against fugitive Red Bull scion lapses

Cocaine charge against fugitive Red Bull scion lapses

BANGKOK: The charge of cocaine abuse brought against Red Bull heir Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya during the high-profile hit-and-run case in 2012 has now lapsed because the statute of limitations has expired under recent changes to narcotics offences laws, Office of the Attorney General spokesman Prayut Petcharakhun said yesterday (Aug).

deathpolicedrugs
By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 3 August 2022, 10:12AM


Vorayuth Yoovidhya arrives at Thong Lor police station for interrogation in early September 2012. Photo: Bangkok Post file

Vorayuth Yoovidhya arrives at Thong Lor police station for interrogation in early September 2012. Photo: Bangkok Post file

Prayut said Vorayuth was charged with cocaine abuse in addition to reckless driving causing death by a panel of prosecutors set up to review the case in August 2020. It was chaired by Itthiporn Kaewthip, director-general of the Office of Criminal Prosecution. Prayut was the panel’s secretary, reports the Bangkok Post.

A court warrant was then issued for his arrest under the Narcotics Act of 1979, of which Section 58 prohibited use of cocaine. A violator was liable to a jail term of six months to three years and the statute of limitations was 10 years.

In Vorayuth’s case, the statute of limitations on the cocaine charge was originally to expire on Sept 3, 2022.

But when new narcotics laws took effect from Dec 9, 2021, the Narcotics Act of 1979 was cancelled. Under Section 162 of the new law, which also prohibits use of cocaine, a violator is liable to a jail term of up to one year and the statute of limitations is five years.

As a consequence, the charge of cocaine abuse against Vorayuth has automatically lapsed.

The only remaining charge against Vorayuth now is reckless driving causing death under Section 291 of the Criminal Code, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in jail and the statute of limitations is 15 years.

The statute of limitations on the reckless driving charge is due to expire on Sept 3, 2027.

Vorayuth, then 27, was driving a black Ferrari that hit a motorcycle driven by Pol Snr Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert, 47, and killed him in the early morning of Sept 3, 2012.

He crashed into the rear of the police motorcycle on Sukhumvit Road. He then fled the scene to his home nearby.

He, through his lawyers, put off hearing charges seven times. It was not until April 27, 2017, that prosecutors finally charged him with reckless driving causing death and failing to stop and help a crash victim.

He fled on a private plane two days before he was due to face the charges.

A speeding charge was later dropped when the one-year statute of limitations expired. The charge of failing to stop and render assistance expired on Sept 3, 2017.

Vorayuth has been seen many times overseas attending high profile sporting events. Red Bull has an F1 racing team. Thai authorities are unable to find him.

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Kurt | 03 August 2022 - 11:53:22

After the unspeakeble is the Red Bull clan the richest family (so the most powerful) of Thailand. In 2027 Red Bull Boy will be with full honours welcomed back home at Suvarnabhumi airport. That will be a sad day for those who are now paid to keep him out hands of 'Justice'. Than payments stop.

Fascinated | 03 August 2022 - 11:02:17

Any other country a cop-killer would be hunted down all over the world, over here money speaks. SoL should be suspended for on the run criminals (which is what he is never mind his 'Hi-So' attitude). If he had the courage to go to court in the first place this would have been over years ago- the coward.

JohnC | 03 August 2022 - 10:22:40

What does it matter when the authorities are pretty much guaranteed never to bring this criminal to justice anyway. Too rich and powerful a family to ever be brought to court and charged. Be interesting to know how much has been paid out in all those years to officials not do their jobs. Much more than 90% of Thais will ever earn in a lifetime for sure.

 

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