Police major general among officers probed over Red Bull killer case

Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya
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The Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has assigned a subcommittee to investigate Pol Maj-General Krit Piakaew, former head of Metropolitan Police Division 5, and six other police officers over the alleged abuse of authority to let Red Bull heir Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya evade prosecution, a source at the NACC revealed on Wednesday.

Vorayuth is the prime suspect in a high-profile a fatal hit-and-run accident in 2012.

The sub-panel, established late last month and led by NACC member Surasak Khiriwichien, will investigate Krit; his two former deputies Pol Colonel Sukhun Phrommayon and Pol Colonel Traimet U-thai; Thonglor Police Station superintendent Pol Colonel Chumpol Phumpoung; and three Thonglor investigators, Pol Colonel Samrit Ketyaem, Pol Lt-Colonel Wibul Thinwattanakul and Pol Lt-Colonel Wiradol Tabtimdee.

The officers are accused of allowing Vorayuth to avoid drunk driving, speeding and substance abuse charges as well as failing to timely issue an arrest warrant for Vorayuth to face an indictment decision earlier this year.

Vorayuth, who has repeatedly ignored previous summonses and has yet to be charged with a crime, was due to face his accusers in April but days before that encounter he left Thailand.

In the face of growing criticism over the perceived delay in Vorayuth’s extradition, Metropolitan Police Chief Lt-General Sanit Mahathavorn on Tuesday said he would coordinate with a private company currently translating a 34-page document requesting the extradition of Vorayuth.

He added that the Red Bull heir had reportedly been spotted in the United States.

Once the document is translated, police will request the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s help to proceed, he added.

Vorayuth, a grandson of Red Bull co-founder Chaleo Yoovidhya, is accused of running over and killing 47-year-old patrolman Pol Senior Sgt-Major Wichean Klinprasert on Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Road five years ago.

The statute of limitation has expired for charges of speeding and reckless driving causing property damage, but he remains accused of reckless driving resulting in death, which has a 15-year statute of limitation, and refusing to stop to assist a victim, for which the statute ends in September.

The first offence carries a maximum jail term of 10 years and the latter six months. – Nation

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