BANGKOK (AP) — With the clock about to run out on a hit-and-run charge, the whereabouts of an heir to the Red Bull energy-drink empire accused of killing a Bangkok police officer five years ago are unknown. The fugitive, whose family is worth billions, has apparently found a way to disappear.
The Associated Press recently confirmed Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya’s last known location: Taiwan. Two sources with knowledge of the investigation said he flew there from Singapore, where he had fled shortly before he was supposed to make an April court appearance in Bangkok.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters about the case, said Vorayuth stayed at the luxurious Mandarin Oriental in Taipei before leaving the island May 3. Since then, the trail has gone cold.
The statute of limitations on the hit-and-run charge Vorayuth faces expires Sunday, though effectively it ends at 5 p.m. Friday, said Prayuth Petchkhun, a deputy spokesman for the attorney general’s office. “After that, even if you found the suspect, you wouldn’t be able to bring him to the court until Monday,” he said.
Most Read Stories
The expiring charge might have been easier to prove than what would be the sole remaining count against him: causing death by reckless driving.
For more than four years, Vorayuth missed court appearances while living a high-flying and even public life. Relying in part on public social-media posts from his family and friends, the AP found that Vorayuth had gone to Formula One races, snowboarded in Japan and cruised Venice, all while failing to show up for court dates.
No warrant was issued for his arrest until this April, after the AP report.
“We have informed the police of our decision to file charges against him several months ago and this is police’s responsibility to bring the suspect in,” Prayuth said.
In May, Thai authorities revoked Vorayuth’s passport and said it would ask Interpol to send an international alert. The agency’s “red notice,” however, was issued only this week — and it has yet to be posted on Interpol’s public website.
An Interpol spokesperson, who asked not to be named according to agency policy, said it keeps red notices off the public site only if “the requesting country has asked that it not be publicized.”
Vorayuth easily could have another passport, and could be in…