Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya accused of killing policeman after Ferrari hit-and-run in Thailand


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The Independent Online

The heir to the Red Bull empire has been arrested on suspicion of killing a police officer in a hit-and-run incident in Bangkok, Thailand.

Police arrested Vorayuth Yoovidhya after tracing streaks of oil from the scene of the accident to his family’s estate in a wealthy neighbourhood of the Thai capital.

The 27-year-old admitted his involvement in the accident but says the police officer’s motorcycle cut in front of his vehicle abruptly.

He faces charges of causing death by reckless and escaping arrest, but was released on bail.

Bangkok's top police official, Lt. Gen. Comronwit Toopgrajank, said he took charge of the investigation after the local police superintendent tried to cover up the crime by turning in a bogus suspect.

Gen. Comronwit said he suspended the police superintendent for attempting to subvert the investigation.

"A policeman is dead. I can't let this stand. If I let this case get away, I'd rather quit," he said. "I don't care how powerful they are. If I can't get the actual man in this case, I will resign."

Gen. Comronwit said personally led a team of officers who searched the family estate, confiscating a Ferrari with a badly damaged front bumper and broken windscreen.

The Yoovidhya family was ranked the fourth richest in Thailand this year by Forbes magazine, with a net worth of £3.39 billion.

Red Bull creator Chaleo Yoovidhya died in his 80s in March, leaving his heirs a wide range of businesses, including shares in the brand, hospitals and property.

The family also co-owns the sole authorised importer of Ferrari cars in Thailand.