Authorities in Thailand have dropped all charges against the playboy grandson of the co-founder of Red Bull whose Ferrari fatally struck a police officer on a motorcycle on a Bangkok street in 2012.
The oil from Vorayuth Yoovidhaya’s leaking engine, which was damaged from hitting the officer’s motorcycle, led investigators to his door after he fled the accident scene.
Vorayuth, whose family is among the wealthiest in Thailand, admitted to being drunk when he hit the officer, but he was not immediately arrested and later paid the dead officer’s family nearly $100,000.
During the lengthy, though lethargic investigation, which resulted in the charges of speeding, hit-and-run, and reckless driving, he fled the country, The New York Times reported. The heir to the energy-drink fortune also ignored all police questions, summonses, and subpoenas. Those charges have now been dropped due to statutes of limitations.
Despite being listed as wanted on an Interpol arrest warrant, the wealthy playboy traveled the world in private Red Bull-owned jets, staying openly in lavish hotels, and even keeping a home and Porsche in London for when he visited.
Then suddenly last month, the case was closed, though the announcement was not made until this week, according to the Times. Lt. Col. Thanawut Sanguansuk insists that all protocols were followed in dropping the investigation and has invited Vorayuth to return home without fear of arrest. “This case is therefore terminated in accordance with the legal process,” the investigator wrote in a letter seen by the Times.
Vorayuth’s family is reported to own half of the Red Bull empire; Forbes has estimated their wealth at about $20.2 billion.
Relatives of the dead motorcycle cop said they expected the outcome, telling a reporter in 2013 that the Red Bull heir is “powerful, has many connections and a lot of money.”
The family member went on to say, “If you are common people like us, I think the case is already finished.”