World

Arrest warrant out for Red Bull heir

BANGKOK: A Thai court has issued an arrest warrant for the heir to the Red Bull empire over a deadly 2012 hit-and-run, police said yesterday, a belated move to end the impunity enjoyed by a scion better known by his nickname, Boss.

In a case closely watched by the Thai public, police said the court issued the warrant for Worayuth Yoovidhya after hours of deliberation by the Bench.

He was allegedly behind the wheel when his Ferrari ploughed into a policeman, dragging the body for several hundred metres before fleeing the scene.

It is the first warrant against Worayuth, who has spent years ducking hearings on charges linked to the death. He was 27 at the time of the crash and has zipped in and out of Thailand over the past five years, with frequent appearances on Bangkok's rich kid party scene.

Several charges against him have expired during that time. But the most serious offence - a possible 10-year sentence for reckless driving that resulted in death - is valid until 2027.

For many in Thailand, the case has become a byword for the special treatment enjoyed by the elites in a justice system bent by cash and influence.

Worayuth's family is the fourth richest in Thailand.

Prosecutors had called on police to request the warrant after Worayuth dodged yet another court hearing on Thursday. Police are exploring applying for the extradition of Worayuth.

National police chief Chaktip Chaijinda said: "I learnt that he is hiding in England where we have an extradition treaty." - AFP

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