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Thai Police Defend Decision to Drop Charges against Red Bull Heir

Police Defend Decision to Drop Charges against Red Bull Heir

Thai police on Friday defended the decision to drop criminal charges against Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya, who killed a Bangkok police officer in a hit-and-run accident in 2012.

Vorayuth, then 28, was arrested in September 2012 after his black Ferrari crashed into a motorcycle driven by Pol. Senior Sgt. Maj. Wichian Klanprasert at 177 kilometers per hour, dragging his body 100 meters down Sukhumvit Road.

On Friday, police confirmed that the Office of the Attorney General had decided to acquit Vorayuth on the last remaining charge, reckless driving.

Pol. Lt Gen. Piya Uthayo, spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, said police legal teams had examined the attorney general’s order and decides not to appeal.

Police have also requested for a withdrawal of the court’s arrest warrant on Vorayuth.

Vorayuth’s case caused public outcry over the justice system. He had faced charges of speeding, hit-and-run and reckless driving causing death. However, Vorayuth missed eight police summons until some charges expired five years after the incident.

The statute of limitations on the reckless driving charge, however, did not expire until 2027.

Last month, the National Anti-Corruption Commission found a police officer guilty of dereliction of duty in handling the case. Piya insisted that the case had been handled according to law.

Vorayuth is a grandson of the late Chaleo Yoovidhya, who created Red Bull business empire and was listed as the third-richest person in Thailand when he died in 2012.