Dentists reject police cocaine story in 'Boss' case

Dentists reject police cocaine story in 'Boss' case

Drug not used as anaesthetic, making decision not to press drug charge questionable

Vorayuth Yoovidhya is escorted to the Thong Lor police station in Bangkok for interrogation, hours after a crash that killed a police officer on Sept 3, 2012. (Photo: Kosol Nakachol)
Vorayuth Yoovidhya is escorted to the Thong Lor police station in Bangkok for interrogation, hours after a crash that killed a police officer on Sept 3, 2012. (Photo: Kosol Nakachol)

Dentists do not use cocaine as an anaesthetic on patients, the president of the Dental Council said on Friday, pouring cold water on the excuse police used for not filing a drug charge against Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya.

Pojanart Poomprakobsri, the council president, was responding to a report that police were aware of cocaine in Mr Vorayuth’s system after a fatal hit-and-run in 2012 but decided not to press a narcotics charge because the drug had been used in dental treatment.

Dentists no longer used cocaine because its anaesthetic effect was short-lived, and it has been linked to hypertension and impact on the hearts of patients, Mr Pojanart said.

Dentists use other synthesised substances that have better anaesthetic properties and fewer side effects. As a result, cocaine has disappeared from the dental field, he said.

The Dental Council was ready to provide police with information, he said, adding that it wanted information on the dentist who treated Mr Vorayuth so that it could verify if cocaine was really administered.

Confusing accounts of the drug investigation are among many developments that have emerged since it was learned that prosecutors had dropped all charges in the case against the scion of one of the country’s wealthiest families, causing national outrage.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the establishment of a high-profile panel to look into how police and prosecutors arrived at their decisions and where the investigative process might have broken down. it is due to report within 30 days.

Mr Vorayuth, now 35, was accused of driving his black Ferrari when it struck the rear of a policeman’s motorcycle at high speed, dragging his body along Sukhumvit Road before speeding away in the early morning of Sept 3, 2012. The victim was Pol Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert, 47, who was based at Thong Lor police station.

He delayed answering the initial charges 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 those charges. He is believed to have spend most of his time overseas since then.

The speeding charge was later dropped when the one-year statute of limitations expired. The charge of failing to stop and help a crash victim expired on Sept 3, 2017.

Late last month, public prosecutors dropped the third and most serious charge, reckless driving causing death. Otherwise it would have remained on the books until 2027.

Mr Vorayuth whose nickname is Boss, is the son of Chalerm Yoovidhya, whose family co-owns the energy drink megabrand Red Bull and ranks second on Thailand’s richest list with net worth estimated at US$20 billion (about 617 billion baht).


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