Interpol recently issued an international alert, known as a Blue Notice, to its 190 member countries for Red Bull scion Vorayuth Yoovidhya, wanted over a hit-and-run case that killed a police officer in 2012, said a police spokesman.
Pol Col Kritsana Pattanacharoen, deputy spokesman for the Royal Thai Police (RTP), said the Interpol move came after police sought cooperation from the international community to locate Mr Vorayuth.
The Blue Notice has been sent to Interpol’s 190 member countries to locate, identify or obtain information on the suspect, he said, adding several countries have already responded saying they have no information about him.
Mr Vorayuth (centre) was photographed last April with his brother (left) sister and mother at the London home long owned by the family business> (AP photo)
He said the RTP’s Foreign Affairs Division, or the Thai Interpol, is also seeking to change the Blue Notice to a Red Notice, in which Mr Vorayuth is identified as a suspect wanted by Thai authorities.
A Blue Notice only allows Interpol to determine the location of a suspect so that prosecutors in charge of the case are able to seek his extradition through diplomatic channels.
Thus, the chances of recovering Mr Vorayuth are almost nil before the statute of limitations runs out on Sept 3 on the second of three charges concerning the 2012 accident which left a policeman dead..
A Red Notice seeks the location and arrest of a person wanted by a judicial jurisdiction or an international tribunal, with a pre-disclosed aim to extradite them.
The Interpol Notice hierarchy. A Blue Notice is the third-ranking notice in the Interpol arsenal. It does not seek or authorise arrest. (Information by Interpol)
Mr Vorayuth faces two charges in connection with the hit-and-run accident killing Thong Lor traffic police officer Wichian Klanprasert in Bangkok’s Thong Lor area.
The statute of limitations for another charge of speeding has expired.
Police are under pressure to bring Mr Vorayuth back before the five-year statute of limitations on a charge of failing to stop his vehicle to help the victim expires on Sept 3. The statute of limitations of a charge of reckless driving causing death ends on Sept 3, 2027.
Pol Col Kritsana said police have been looking to verify Mr Vorayuth’s whereabouts, and as long as they cannot establish it, they cannot proceed further. He insisted police are not stalling the process to bring back Mr Vorayuth as suggested by some.
Quoting national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda, he said anyone with information about the police dragging their feet should come forward and refrain from making empty accusations.