Red Bull heir faces having passport cancelled

An arrest warrant has been issued for Vorayuth Yoovidhya for his involvement in a hit-and-run incident in 2012. PHOTO: EPA


The Foreign Ministry will be asked to consider revoking the passport of Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya, who faces an arrest warrant in a 2012 fatal hit-and-run case, says a senior prosecutor.

The ministry’s Department of Consular Affairs would be consulted because Mr Vorayuth is now a fugitive in a criminal investigation, said Amnat Chotchai, director-general of the International Affairs Department of the Office of the Attorney General.

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He said revoking the passport could pressure the suspect to turn himself in to authorities, but noted that the Department of Consular Affairs would consider the facts to determine if they justify such a dramatic step.

He said his department would not intervene in the decision-making process.

The possible revocation of Mr Vorayuth’s passport has been raised after he repeatedly failed to answer charges in the 2012 case, in which a motorcycle police officer was dragged to his death by a speeding Ferrari.

The repeated no-shows by the 32-year-old billionaire — who lives a life of luxury abroad and enters and leaves Thailand at will — have outraged the public for years. But it was only last week that prosecutors finally sought a court warrant for his arrest.

To initiate the passport revocation process, the Royal Thai Police will inform the Foreign Ministry of the legal proceedings against Mr Vorayuth, Mr Amnat said.

A working panel has been set up to seek the extradition of Mr Vorayuth who is believed be staying in the United Kingdom. The team is waiting for a complete police report so that an extradition request can be lodged with authorities in the UK.

Mr Amnat heads the panel but declined to give further details about its members except to say that they have expertise in the matter.

Commenting on an observation that the suspect has a private jet and can travel with ease, Mr Amnat said Mr Vorayuth cannot just slip through immigration checks.

Even if the suspect leaves the UK, as long as the extradition request is not denied, the process remains intact, he said. If and when Mr Vorayuth re-enters that country, Thai authorities will submit a fresh request with updated information and the extradition process will resume.

-The Bangkok Post

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