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Thailand’s Red Bull Heir Escapes 2017 Drug Charges

Thai authorities say they have been unable to find the Red Bull heir. His Interpol red warrant mysteriously disappeared too.

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misconduct Red Bull heir, mr Vorayuth, Thailand

The drug charges brought against Thailand’s Red Bull heir Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya have now lapsed because of the statute of limitations.

The drug charge has expired under recent changes to Thailand’s narcotics laws, Office of the Attorney General spokesman Prayut Petcharakhun said on Tuesday.

In August 2020, a panel of prosecutors charged Vorayuth with cocaine abuse and reckless driving, causing death. The Director-general of the Office of Criminal Prosecution, Itthiporn Kaewthip, chaired the meeting. Mr. Prayut was the panel’s secretary.

In response, a warrant was issued for his arrest under Section 58 of the Narcotics Act of 1979. There was a 10-year statute of limitations and an automatic six-month to a three-year jail sentence for violators.

According to the statute of limitations, Mr. Vorayuth’s cocaine charge was originally set to expire on Sept 3, 2022.

Upon the implementation of new narcotics laws on Dec 9, 2021, the Narcotics Act of 1979 was repealed. Violations of Section 162 of the new law, which also prohibits the use of cocaine, are punishable by up to a year in jail, plus five years’ probation.

Therefore, the cocaine abuse charge against the Red Bull heir has automatically lapsed.

Currently, Mr. Vorayuth is only facing a reckless driving charge under Section 291 of the Criminal Code, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in jail and a 15-year statute of limitations.

On Sept 3, 2027, the statute of limitations on reckless driving charges will expire.

On Sept 3, 2012, Mr. Vorayuth, then 27, was driving a black Ferrari when he collided with Pol Snr Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert, 47, and killed him.

Red Bull Heir Fees

The crash occurred on Sukhumvit Road when he hit the rear of the police motorcycle. After fleeing the scene, he returned to his nearby home.

The charges against him were put off seven times by his lawyers. Prosecutors finally charged him on April 27, 2017, with reckless driving causing death and failure to stop and assist a fatal crash victim.

The day before he appeared in court, he escaped on a private plane.

After the one-year statute of limitations expired, a speeding charge was dropped. On September 3, 2017, the charge of failing to stop and render assistance expired.

Mr. Vorayuth has frequently attended high-profile sporting events overseas with the Red Bull F1 racing team in recent years.

Thai authorities say they have been unable to find the Red Bull heir. His Interpol red warrant mysteriously disappeared too.

Wealthy families live by different standards in Thailand; they can use their wealth and power to manipulate the legal system.