BANGKOK (AP) — The Ferrari driver who allegedly slammed into a motorcycle cop, dragged him along the road and then sped away from the mangled body took just hours to find, as investigators followed a trail of brake fluid into the gated estate of one of Thailand’s richest families.
But the prosecution of Red Bull heir Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya has been delayed almost five years. When Vorayuth, 31, has been called in to face authorities, he hasn’t shown up, claiming through his attorney that he’s sick or out of the country on business. And while statutes of limitations run out on key charges this year, it’s widely assumed he’s hiding, possibly abroad, or quietly living locally, only going out in disguise.
Within weeks of the accident, The Associated Press has found, Vorayuth was back to enjoying his family’s jet-set life, largely associated with the Red Bull, an energy drink brand co-founded by his grandfather. He flies around the world on Red Bull jets, cheers their Formula One racing team from Red Bull’s VIP seats and keeps a black Porsche Carrera in London with a custom plate: B055 RBR. Boss Red Bull Racing.
Last month, social media clues led AP reporters to the sacred city of Luang Prabang, Laos, where he and his family enjoyed a $1,000-a-night resort, visited temples and lounged by the pool.
Critics say inaction in this case epitomizes longstanding privilege for the wealthy class in Thailand, a politically tumultuous country that has struggled with rule of law for decades.
The Yoovidhya family attorney did not respond to AP’s request to interview Vorayuth.
He’s due at the prosecutors’ office again, this Thursday.
His brother is nicknamed Porsche, his sister Champagne. Vorayuth and his siblings grew up in a family whose fortune expanded from millions to billions. He attended a $40,000-a-year boarding school in the United Kingdom.
In rural Thailand, police Sgt. Maj. Wichean Glanprasert didn’t have such opportunities. The youngest of five, he was the first…