Authorities dropping criminal charges and withdrew an arrest warrant for Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya last month, but public criticism of the decision has resulted in government scrutiny.
On Tuesday, a Bangkok criminal court approved a new arrest warrant on two counts – one count of reckless driving causing death and one new count of drug use.
Yoovidhya, the grandson of billionaire Red Bull co-founder Chaleo Yoovidhya, has been accused of crashing a Ferrari into a policeman on duty in central Bangkok.
Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert was on his motorcycle at the time of the incident on September 3, 2012, and after being hit, he was dragged along the road with the bike for several tens of meters before Yoovidhya fled.
Police traced oil streaks from the scene on several roads, arriving at the family’s gated property.
Yoovidhya missed eight court summons before authorities first issued an arrest warrant in 2017, but he disappeared soon after and, according to his social media, was “apparently overseas”.
That same year, Interpol issued a “red notice” for his arrest, which was later dropped in 2018.
Yoovidhya’s lawyer, Samack Chouvaparnante, said he had “no knowledge of the new mandate and had not been in contact with his client”.
Evidence not previously used in police reports was reviewed by a committee earlier this month.
This included the suggestion that Yoovidhya’s car was traveling at a faster speed than previously thought.
There was also evidence from a blood test suggesting that the driver, who was 27 at the time of the incident, had traces of cocaine in his system at the time.
A deputy national police chief said: “We will submit a new report within two weeks so that the prosecutor can issue a prosecution order.”
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Red Bull, the energy drink giant that has also made a name for itself as a major sports brand thanks to its sponsorship of several football teams and its presence in F1, claims to have no direct connection to Yoovidhya.
His father, Chalerm Yoovidhya, is co-owner of the International Red Bull brand and is the second richest person in Thailand, with an estimated fortune of £ 15.6 billion, according to Forbes.
There have been accusations that higher powers are helping Yoovidhya evade the charges, but the police have denied this.