THE FORMAL documents to extradite fugitive Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya have been completed and the process to return him to Thailand to face charges of reckless driving causing death will begin immediately after he is found, a senior official said yesterday.
Amnat Chotchai, director-general of the International Affairs Department, said his department was responsible for contacting the foreign country if Vorayuth, 35, is located to arrange for his extradition.
“All extradition documents are ready. When Vorayuth is arrested in any country, we will just fill in the name of that country. We can forward the documents to get the signature of the Attorney-General within five days,” Amnat said.
Thai authorities have increased hopes that Vorayuth will be arrested after Interpol last week put him on a worldwide wanted list.
Vorayuth, also known as “Boss”, allegedly ploughed his Ferrari into a policeman riding a motorbike in Bangkok in 2012, dragging the officer to his death, while driving drunk.
He was facing four charges, but the statute of limitations expired for three of them, leaving only the charge of reckless driving causing death, which will expire in 2027.
The delay in finding and prosecuting Vorayuth has led to criticism that authorities were reluctant to put him in jail because he is the wealthy heir to the Red Bull empire.
Vorayuth sneaked out of the country in April. However, a foreign news agency tracked him down in the UK, while Thai authorities claimed they did not know his whereabouts.
The report caused outrage in Thailand with people questioning authorities’ sincerity in prosecuting him.
If police in a foreign country arrest Vorayuth, Amnart said, they could detain him according to their laws.
After Interpol notifies Thai police of the arrest, they will inform the Attorney-General’s Office.
If Vorayuth is arrested in a country that has an extradition treaty with Thailand, the process to return him to Thailand would follow set procedures, Amnat said. If he is found in a country that does not have a treaty with Thailand, the Foreign Ministry would handle the case on a reciprocal basis with diplomatic discussions.
Thailand has signed extradition treaties with the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Belgium, China and Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, Australia, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh, Fiji, Malaysia and India.