Don't let 'Boss' evade the law

Don't let 'Boss' evade the law

Once again, Thai police deserve a thumbs-down for failing to track down Vorayudh "Boss" Yoovidhya, who is accused in a deadly hit-and-run case that killed a Thong Lor police officer in 2012.

Mr Vorayudh was allegedly driving his Ferrari in the wee hours of Sept 3 when he crashed into Pol Snr Sgt Maj Wichean Glanprasert, the patrol unit chief of the police station, who was in the Thong Lor area. Mr Vorayudh's supercar mowed down the officer, dragging his lifeless body for many metres.

The case attracted enormous public attention not only because of Mr Vorayudh's family background as heir to the Red Bull energy drink empire, but also the fact that he tried to cover up what happened by having someone employed at his house take the rap for the crime on his behalf. Not to mention the gory nature of the case.

Mr Vorayudh faced three charges: reckless driving causing death, failing to help a crash victim and speeding. After he disappeared, police failed to indict him on the speeding charge, the statute of limitations for which has now already expired.

Mr Vorayudh has been repeatedly summonsed to face the authorities but he has avoided turning up each time, claiming through his lawyer that he was sick or out of the country on business.

This week, the absentee heir became front-page news again after reports that he was back enjoying his and his family's jet-set life, mostly as a result of his own postings on social media. There were more than 100 pictures of him travelling in several countries including the United Kingdom, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and Luang Prabang in Laos.

At least one picture showed him cheering on the energy drink giant's Formula One racing team at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and he is said to have flown around the world on Red Bull jets. Yet, many people suspect that Mr Vorayudh has has not actually fled Thailand at all but still lives here incognito.

Yet, police have failed to capture him or even find clues as to his whereabouts -- something the public finds very hard to believe.

According to police, the 31-year-old Red Bull heir is scheduled to be at the prosecutor's office today. It will come as no surprise at all if he fails to turn up, sending his lawyers instead. They will likely cite either illness or business for the no-show while the police will carry on sitting idly by, just as they have done for the past five years.

If that happens, the public will feel let down by the men in khaki again.

Needless to say, this infamous case calls into question not only the efficiency of the force but also the justice system of this country.

Many still remember the case of a teacher who claimed she was falsely charged in a hit-and-run killing in the Northeast earlier this year.

Teacher Jomsap Saenmuangkhot was sentenced to three years and two months in prison by the Supreme Court in 2013 after police accused her of crashing and killing a cyclist in Sakhon Nakhon in 2005. The teacher was released on a royal pardon and, with support from the Justice Ministry, sued the police who she alleged used wrong information in bringing false charges against her.

The two cases show that the Royal Thai Police needs a complete overhaul and radical reform in order to restore public trust in it.

It must do everything it can to prove that those at the top of the social spectrum cannot escape what is supposed to be the long arm of the law.


Bangkok Post editorial column

These editorials represent Bangkok Post thoughts about current issues and situations.

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