BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai police said on Monday they would seek the extradition of the fugitive heir to the Red Bull energy drink fortune, after Interpol issued a global “red notice” seeking his arrest over a deadly hit-and-run.
Vorayuth Yoovidhya, whose whereabouts are unknown, was accused of crashing his Ferrari into a policeman in 2012 and dragging his body at high speed before fleeing the scene.
The issue has generated big interest in Thailand, amid simmering outrage about perceived impunity for the wealthy and connected.
Police spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen said Interpol issued the notice last week after a Thai court in August approved an arrest warrant for reckless driving causing death and a new charge of drug use.
He said Interpol’s members would help establish his whereabouts, “so that he can be formally extradited back to us for further legal action”.
Vorayuth missed eight court summonses before authorities sought his arrest in 2017. He later disappeared and in July this year, anger erupted on social media when news broke that his case had been dropped, sparking calls for a boycott of Red Bull products.
Vorayuth is a grandson of the late Chaleo Yoovidhya, who created the energy drink Krating Daeng, or Red Bull, and co-founded the international Red Bull GmbH brand with an Austrian partner.
The new warrant followed a review of evidence previously not included in police reports, which suggested Vorayuth’s car was travelling faster than previously thought, and that the suspect’s blood test indicated cocaine use.
Neither Vorayuth nor the immediate Yoovidhya family have commented on the charges.
TCP Group, which owns the Thai Red Bull brand, said in July it is run by Vorayuth’s uncle and not directly associated with Vorayuth, whose father has part ownership in the international brand.
Reporting by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by Martin Petty
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