BANGKOK – Thai law enforcement officials say they don't know where the son of one of the country's wealthiest families has escaped, but they're confident they'll catch Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya before the statute of limitations runs out in a deadly hit-and-run case.
Prosecutors held a news conference Friday to assure the public they're going after the high profile fugitive whose grandfather co-founded the Red Bull energy drink brand. The case has prompted public fury over the appearance of corruption and impunity.
The attorney general's spokesman, Prayuth Bejraguna, said his agency cannot allow the case to have a negative impact on the country's judiciary system.
But Prayuth offered no specifics about how they will go about finding Vorayuth, and Amnat Chotchai, the head of the attorney general's foreign division, said "while we do not know his whereabouts, there are documents that we could prepare in advance." He was referring to papers filed by prosecutors in a criminal case.
Authorities delayed prosecuting Vorayuth after the 2012 hit-and-run that killed police Sgt. Maj. Wichean Glanprasert until earlier this year, when The Associated Press published an expose showing Yoovidhya had been enjoying his Bangkok-based family's jet-setting life for years, flying around the world on private Red Bull jets, staying at $1,000-a-night resorts and keeping a black Porsche Carrera at his family's luxury vacation home in London.
Since the report, authorities issued an arrest warrant, revoked his passport and promised to ask Interpol to issue a "Blue Notice" advising officials in 190 countries that Vorayuth is wanted. Police have yet to submit the request, and would not answer questions Friday.
Yoovidhya refused to comment earlier this year when AP asked him why he hadn't shown up for court dates in Thailand as required. He flew to Singapore just before an arrest warrant was issued, and has reportedly since left that country.
When asked if authorities in Singapore know where he went, Prayuth said Friday that making any details public could negatively impact their ongoing investigation.
The hit-and-run charges expire in September.