Cops quell latest speculation that ‘Boss’ is in Austria

Vorayuth 'Boss' Yoovidhya has yet to face Thai justice.
Vorayuth ‘Boss’ Yoovidhya has yet to face Thai justice.

The Royal Thai Police (RTP) on Friday came out to quell media speculation that Red Bull scion Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya was in Austria.

RTP spokesman Pol Maj Gen Yingyos Thepchamnong, police chief inspector Pol Lt Gen Chettha Komolwatthana, Metropolitan Police Division 5 chief Pol Maj Gen Sopon Sarapat and Pol Col Songake Patcharawit from the RTP’s foreign affairs division, held a press conference to try and clarify the issue.

The press briefing was organised following Thai media reports that Mr Vorayuth, wanted for an infamous hit-and-run case from 2012, was believed to be in Austria.

Pol Col Songake said yesterday the RTP’s foreign affairs division had no information about Mr Vorayuth’s whereabouts after he fled the country in 2017. He said police had been working with the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Interpol in 195 countries in their efforts to locate Mr Vorayuth and bring him to stand trial over the hit-and-run case.

The RTP had prepared an extradition request to be submitted as soon as Mr Vorayuth’s whereabouts were verified so that the Office of Attorney General could initiate the process, he said.

According to Pol Col Songake, Interpol has already issued a red notice for his arrest.

Pol Maj Gen Yingyos said Thai authorities sent an inquiry to Austria about Mr Vorayuth’s whereabouts but had yet to receive a reply.

He also admitted that the suspect’s passport was cancelled by the Foreign Affairs Ministry and it would be beyond the Thai police’s authority if the Red Bull scion used a passport issued by another country. However, he insisted that police will try their best to bring Mr Vorayuth back to face court.

According to Pol Maj Gen Sopon, Mr Vorayuth faces two charges — narcotics use after cocaine was found in his system following a drug test and reckless driving causing death. The statute of limitations for the narcotic charge will expire on Sept 3 next year while that for the reckless driving causing death will expire in 2027.

Pol Lt Gen Chettha said 17 officers face inquiries over alleged violations of discipline in handling the case.