Thailand revokes passport of fugitive Red Bull heir

Travel document is cancelled for Vorayuth Yoovidhya, who fled before arrest warrant was issued for killing policeman.

    Vorayuth Yoovidhya faces up to 10 years in prison [File: Matt Dunham/AP]
    Vorayuth Yoovidhya faces up to 10 years in prison [File: Matt Dunham/AP]

    Thailand has revoked the passport of the fugitive heir to the Red Bull energy drink fortunes after he left the kingdom and ducked an arrest warrant over a deadly 2012 hit-and-run.

    The travel document of Vorayuth Yoovidhya, known as Boss, was cancelled on "Friday afternoon", Busadee Santipitaks, spokeswoman for Thailand's foreign ministry, told the AFP news agency.

    The ministry said Vorayuth will no longer be able to enter other countries on that passport, while his immigration status in whatever country he is in is now invalid.

    It also said he was now subject to penalties under his host country's laws.

    READ MORE: Thailand police get arrest warrant for Red Bull heir

    Vorayuth fled to Singapore on his private jet days before a warrant was issued belatedly for his arrest last week, nearly five years after he allegedly drove off after knocking down and killing a policeman with his Ferrari in the centre of the capital, Bangkok.

    The 32-year-old billionaire has become an emblem for the impunity enjoyed by the rich and connected in Thailand.

    Several charges against Vorayuth have expired during the lapse between the car crash and his arrest warrant, a period that saw the heir continue to lead a lavish, jet-setting lifestyle with frequent stops in the kingdom.

    But he still faces up to 10 years in prison for reckless driving that resulted in death, an offence that will be valid until 2027.

    Vorayuth's billionaire clan has inherited the fortune built up by his grandfather Chaleo Yoovidhya, who cofounded the Red Bull brand with Austrian Dietrich Mateschitz in the 1980s.

    Chaleo passed away in March 2012, leaving his family some $22bn and control of more than 50 percent of the energy drink empire, according to Bloomberg media network.

    SOURCE: News agencies


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