Interpol publicly released a “red notice” Tuesday seeking the grandson of Thailand billionaire and co-founder of Red Bull. Vorayuth Yoovidhya, 35, is wanted for reckless driving which caused the death of a Bangkok policeman in 2012.
The wealthy heir was last seen leaving a multi-million home in West London with two young women in April, but has since disappeared.
According to the International Police Organization, a red wanted notice is a request to law enforcement agencies in 190 member countries, requiring that they “locate and provisionally arrest an individual, pending extradition”.
Intelligence agencies and border officials around the world have received details of the suspected killer, who will be arrested if he makes any attempt to travel internationally. Authorities in Bangkok have also revoked his passport.
Mr. Yoovidhya, the Red Bull heir otherwise known as “Boss”, was allegedly involved in a fatal hit-and-run incident in central Bangkok five years ago. Sergeant-Major Wichian Klansprasert was riding his police patrol motorcycle when a speeding grey Ferrari smashed into him, dragging his body for more than 100 yards before driving away.
Officers on the scene followed a trail of brake fluid to a nearby luxury mansion owned by a Thai billionaire. The written-off Ferrari was parked in the driveway with the motorcycle still mangled into the front.
After analyzing security camera videos, the injuries that killed Sergeant Major Klansprasert, and the distance traveled by the vehicle, investigating officers estimated that Mr. Vorayuth, then 30, must have been driving around 106 miles per hour. He also tested positive for excessive levels of alcohol in his bloodstream.
However, in spite of the overwhelming evidence at the scene, it took the Thai police more than six months to prepare criminal charges against Mr. Vorayuth for speeding, reckless driving causing death, and fleeing the scene of an accident.
To the astonishment of the victim’s family, the Red Bull heir was not detained by police during this period and failed to appear in court seven consecutive times to hear the charges against him. He was allowed to leave the country while family lawyers provided numerous excuses for his absence from court. By 2017, he had still not been convicted of any crime.
The case provoked a public backlash in Thailand, with the authorities accused of leniency toward wealthy criminals, as well as corruption and deliberate foot-dragging.
Although Mr. Vorayuth originally faced three separate charges, he has evaded prosecution for so long that only one remains valid. Facebook posts showing him partying with friends at various luxurious beach resorts and international motor racing shows sparked outrage in Thailand.
After five years, mounting public pressure has forced the new Thai military government to act. Police issued a warrant for his arrest and alerted Interpol just days after Mr. Vorayuth managed to flee the country in April. He flew to Singapore and then Taiwan, but has since gone into hiding.