Interpol pulls notice for Thailand's Red Bull scion from website

Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya is accused of running over and killing 47-year-old patrolman Police Senior Sergeant-Major Wichean Klinprasert on Bangkok's Sukhumvit Road in 2012.
Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya is accused of running over and killing 47-year-old patrolman Police Senior Sergeant-Major Wichean Klinprasert on Bangkok's Sukhumvit Road in 2012.PHOTO: EPA

BANGKOK - The Interpol "Red Notice" for Thailand's Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya, wanted for hit-and-run charges, has disappeared from its website, Bangkok Post reported on Thursday (March 15).

It was unclear when the notice - a worldwide request to find and arrest an individual pending extradition - vanished from the website and for what reasons.

Interpol declined to discuss individual cases but told the Bangkok Post that a notice could be lifted if "the suspect has been arrested, extradited or has died".

Additionally, it could be removed if the country which requested it withdraws its request, or the judicial authorities in the country behind the notice withdraws the arrest warrant against a suspect.

The agency said the notice could also be removed if it is the subject of an appeal, or if "the status of the notice has changed from public to restricted".

Thai police said in late August last year that the international police network had issued the red notice for Mr Vorayuth, now 33, after he repeatedly failed to meet prosecutors.

The notice was on the Interpol website until recently, according to the Bangkok Post.

Thai police spokesman Kritsana Pattanachareon said on Thursday Thai police had no idea why the notice was no longer there.

"It's entirely up to Interpol. We can't intervene because each country has different laws," he said.

But he confirmed that Thai police had not sought a change from "public" to "restricted" status for the notice.

Mr Vorayuth, a grandson of Red Bull co-founder Chaleo Yoovidhya, is accused of running over and killing 47-year-old patrolman Police Senior Sergeant-Major Wichean Klinprasert on Bangkok's Sukhumvit Road in 2012.

The policeman's body was dragged about 200m along the road.

Mr Vorayuth, who has repeatedly ignored previous summonses and has yet to be charged with a crime, was due to face his accusers in April 2017 but days before that encounter he left Thailand. He has reportedly been spotted in the United States.

According to the Bangkok Post, the speeding charge was dropped as its one-year statute of limitations had expired.

The second charge - failing to stop his car to help a crash victim - expired on Sept 3 last year.

The third and most serious charge of reckless driving causing death will remain pending until 2027.

If he is ever brought to justice and convicted, Mr Vorayuth could face up to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to 20,000 baht (S$842).