Interpol issues Red Notice for Red Bull heir who left Thailand after allegedly running over cop

Vorayuth Yoovidhaya paying his last respects to police officer Wichian Klinprasert, who was killed in a 2012 hit-and-run accident over which the Red Bull heir is facing charges of reckless driving causing death and failing to help a crash victim. PHOTO: THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

BANGKOK - Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for Red Bull heir Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya, who is wanted in Thailand in connection with a 2012 hit-and-run and reckless driving case that killed a motorcycle cop.

The international crime-busting agency put out a Red Notice for Vorayuth in response to a request for assistance from the Thai police in the face of mounting public anger after the billionaire playboy was allowed to fly out of the country to Singapore on a private jet before falling off the radar.

He had allegedly crashed his Ferrari into a policeman on a motorcycle in Bangkok and fled the scene, dragging the officer's body for several dozen metres with his car.

He has failed to show up in court even once after legal proceedings against him started in 2016. According to reports, he has been travelling around the world with family and friends for the past few years.

Vorayuth is a grandson of the late Chaleo Yoovidhya, creator of the energy drink Kratin Daeng, or "red bull" in Thai. Chaleo's net worth at the time of his death in 2012 was estimated at US$5 billion (S$6.76 billion), according to Forbes magazine.

Vorayuth, who was 27 at the time of the accident, faces a possible 10-year sentence for reckless driving resulting in death. The statute of limitations for this charge is until Sept 3, 2027, while the charge on failing to help a crash victim expires on Sept 3 this year.

Charges of speeding and reckless driving causing damage to others' property have been dropped because their one-year statute of limitations has expired.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.