BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s prime minister responded yesterday to growing public furore by ordering a probe into the dropping of criminal charges against a Thai heir to the Red Bull energy drink fortune accused of killing a policeman in a hit-and-run accident eight years ago.
The case involving Vorayuth Yoovidhya, whose family owns about half of the Red Bull empire, has highlighted longstanding allegations that the rich and powerful in Thailand enjoy impunity from the law. Forbes magazine’s list of the richest families in Thailand places the Yoovidhya family second, with an estimated wealth of USD20.2 billion.
Vorayuth, better known by the nickname “Boss,” was wanted in connection with the September 3, 2012, accident that occurred when his Ferrari struck and killed motorcycle policeman Sergeant Major Wichean Klunprasert.
The decision by the attorney general’s office to not prosecute was made last month and announced last Friday at a police news conference.