Prosecutors tell cops to hurry up and find 'Boss'
Pressure is mounting on the police in the hunt for Red Bull scion Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya, who is wanted over a high-profile 2012 hit-and-run case, after the prosecution warned it is the police's responsibility to speed up locating the suspect before the case expires.
The Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) cannot extradite the suspect until the police locate which country he is residing in, said OAG deputy spokesman Prayut Phetkun.
Mr Vorayuth, 35, who has been seen at public sporting events and elsewhere abroad, is accused of being behind the wheel when his Ferrari hit and killed Pol Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert, a motorcycle policeman, on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok, on Sept 3, 2012.
The police have seven years left to track Mr Vorayuth before the statute of limitations for the most serious charge, reckless driving causing death, expires on Sept 3, 2027.
The speeding charge was dropped when the one-year statute of limitations expired in 2013 and a second charge -- failing to stop and help a crash victim -- expired on Sept 3, 2017.
"Don't forget that the extradition is possible only while the statute of limitations for this charge still is valid. And it's the police's responsibility to first locate him," said Mr Prayut.
When Mr Vorayuth's whereabouts are discovered, the OAG will find out if that country has a criminal extradition pact with Thailand. If not, a diplomatic approach will be adopted instead, said Mr Prayut.
Previously, a National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) investigation found that there had been an intention to exempt Mr Vorayuth from prosecution on charges of drug abuse and speeding by officers at Thong Lor police station.
Back then, Mr Vorayuth delayed court hearings seven times.
It was not until April 27, 2017, that prosecutors finally charged him with reckless driving causing death and failing to help a crash victim.
He fled on a private plane two days before he was due to face the charges.