BANGKOK • Interpol has issued a "red notice" to arrest the fugitive Thai heir to the Red Bull billions for his role in a fatal hit-and-run.
The move by the international police organisation is the latest in the years-long saga surrounding Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya who crashed his Ferrari in 2012, killing a police officer.
The charges against Vorayuth, grandson of Red Bull's co-founder, were dropped in July - sparking public outrage from Thais who saw it as an example of impunity enjoyed by the kingdom's elite.
It spurred probes by various government agencies, including the Attorney-General's Office, which last month announced fresh charges against Vorayuth of reckless driving causing death and cocaine use.
National police spokesman Krissana Pattanacharoen confirmed yesterday that a red notice - Interpol's most urgent alert - was issued earlier last week.
"After we received the confirmation, we then passed our request to 194 member countries, asking for assistance from them," he told Agence France-Presse. "We have to do whatever it takes to... ultimately bring him back to the country because it is a serious crime."
A red notice for Vorayuth had not been published on the Interpol website as at yesterday afternoon.
The fugitive heir fled the country back in 2017 on a private jet.
After charges against him were dropped in July, a probe by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's office concluded that the entire investigation had been "compromised".
The public outcry over Vorayuth came at a particularly tense period for the government, coinciding with near-daily protests across Thailand led by pro-democracy student leaders calling for Mr Prayut's resignation.
Protesters have carried cardboard cut-outs of Red Bull's logo to symbolise their anger at the military-aligned government, which enjoys close alliances with the kingdom's billionaire families.
The clan of Red Bull co-founder Chaleo Yoovidhya is Thailand's second richest family, boasting a fortune estimated at US$20.2 billion (S$27.6 billion) according to Forbes.