NACC to re-examine 'Boss' case

NACC to re-examine 'Boss' case

Vorayuth: Wanted by Interpol
Vorayuth: Wanted by Interpol

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) plans to re-investigate the police mishandling of the 2012 hit-and-run case involving Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya after receiving a copy of an independent committee's report.

The public prosecutors' decision to drop criminal charges against Mr Vorayuth was blamed mainly on a botched police investigation and the report submitted to them by officers.

Niwatchai Kasemmongkol, deputy secretary-general of the NACC, confirmed on Wednesday that he had received a copy of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission's report and the NACC would compare the new report's findings with its own plus the accounts of several police officers involved in the high-profile case.

Led by former NACC commissioner Vicha Mahakun, the independent committee previously submitted its report to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who approved and forwarded it to the PACC to take action against those who were allegedly at fault in their handling of the inquiry.

By comparing findings from these two investigations, the NACC will learn what new evidence, if any, has since been unearthed by the Vicha-led committee about the police's mishandling of the hit-and-run case and who else should be prosecuted.

The NACC now aims to re-examine everything that happened from the time the original investigation was launched until the public prosecutors' decision to drop all charges, said Mr Niwatchai.

The anti-corruption body previously implicated seven police officers for disciplinary misconduct, saying they had mishandled their responsibilities.

The seven were Pol Maj Gen Krit Piakeao, former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Division 5; Pol Col Sukhun Phrommayon, former deputy commissioner of the same police division; Pol Col Traimet U-thai, another former deputy commissioner of the same police division, Pol Col Chumphon Phumphuang, former chief of Thong Lor police station; and three other police officials, namely Pol Col Samrit Ketyaem, Pol Lt Col Wubun Thinwatthana and Pol Lt Col Wiradon Thapthimdi.

These police officials were accused of colluding to help Mr Vorayuth avoid drink-driving and speeding charges and intentionally failing to seek an arrest warrant against him or efficiently track him. It was these offences which allowed him to flee Thailand, said an informed source.

Pol Maj Gen Charuwat Waisaya, an assistant national police chief, admitted that the police were now worried about the prospects of tracking down Mr Vorayuth and managing to bring him back to face charges in Thailand.

Interpol's red notice issued on Oct 1 for Mr Vorayuth isn't actually an arrest warrant, said Pol Maj Gen Charuwat.

Therefore, the only thing Thai police can do now is work with the Foreign Ministry and police connections overseas to try to locate Mr Vorayuth, whose exact whereabouts must be known before an extradition bid can begin.

Pol Maj Gen Charuwat said the Vicha-led committee's findings so far largely tallied with those of the police's own investigation.

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