Red Bull heir Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya seems to be fleeing his luxury apartment in London after journalists began gathering outside to ask him why he is failing to appear in court in Thailand to face justice for killing a policeman with his Ferrari when drunk.
Thai media: this is how you should treat wealthy people who try to evade the law. Including your prime minister.
Andrew MacGregor Marshall shared หมายข่าวนิวทีวี18's video.
Heir to Red Bull billions, 31, who refuses to return to Thailand to face charges of killing a cop in Ferrari hit-and-run five years ago leaves his London mansion
Vorayuth 'Boss' Yoovidhya (left), 31, the billionaire heir to the Red Bull fortune, was seen leaving an address in Knightsbridge, London, on Wednesday accompanied by two women dressed in elaborate matching sunglasses
By Chris Pleasance for MailOnline and Associated Press
PUBLISHED: 15:36 EDT, 5 April 2017
Vorayuth 'Boss' Yoovidhya allegedly killed a police officer in a hit-and-run accident in Bangkok in 2012
Yoovidhya has managed to avoid prosecution for almost five years by claiming to be working or sick
But social media shows he's been living the high life in Venice, Japan and attending F1 races around the world
On Wednesday he was seen leaving a £6.5million property located in Knightsbridge, West London
He's the billionaire Red Bull heir who's supposed to be in Thailand facing a fatal hit-and-run charge - but Vorayuth 'Boss' Yoovidhya was seen living his usual jet-set lifestyle in London on Wednesday.
The international playboy was seen leaving a £6.5million home in Knightsbridge, West London, accompanied by two female companions before climbing into a vehicle with blacked-out windows.
He refused to say whether he will be returning to Thailand for an April 27 hearing over the death of motorcycle cop Wichean Glanprasert, who died after being rear-ended by a £250,00 Ferrari FF, allegedly driven by Yoovidhya.
Yoovidhya is wanted in Thailand, his home country, over the death of motorcycle officer Wichean Glanprasert who died in 2012 after being rear-ended by a £250,000 Ferrari FF, that he was allegedly driving
England, and specifically London, is a favourite haunt of Yoovidhya who was pictured at the same address with friends in 2016. He has visited this country at least once so far this year, landing in Hampshire on a private jet
Yoovidhya has avoided the charges against him for the last five years by claiming to be ill or working overseas whenever a hearing is scheduled. In what appears to be a nightclub, Vorayuth (second from right) was seen with friends in 2014
But Vorayuth's social media accounts and those of his friends and relatives paint a very different picture of his international lifestyle. In 2014, Vorayuth (center, in skull T-shirt) spent a night out at a rooftop bar in Makkasan, Thailand
England is a favourite haunt of his, and he has traveled here at least once before this year via private jet, landing at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire in January in order to celebrate his birthday.
It is not known when exactly he arrived for his current trip, having spent time last month in Laos, Cambodia, though social media posts suggest he has been in London for at least two days.
His Facebook page was updated on Saturday to say that he is studying at Central Saint Martins, a part of the University of the Arts, situated in Kings Cross.
A hearing was scheduled last week, but Yoovidhya failed to show up. Prosecutors agreed to delay the hearing until later this month, but time is running out, as the statute of limitation on the charges expires this year.
If found guilty, Yoovidhya is facing a maximum of 10 years behind bars. His lawyers dispute the charge, saying the cop pulled out in front of their client before being struck.
Glanprasert died in 2012, and the 31-year-old accused has been avoiding the charge ever since, with attorneys claiming he is either too sick to attend hearings or working overseas.
But his social media accounts and those of his friends paint a very different picture of his international activities.
Vorayuth can be seen celebrating a carefree, expensive lifestyle on ski vacations and other holidays around the world - from cruises in Venice to snowboarding trips in Japan and attending Formula 1 races around the globe.
Three months after the accident, Vorayuth was at the Red Bull Singha Race of Champions, staged for the first time in his hometown Bangkok. Smiling in his Red Bull cap at the stadium, surrounded by cousins and friends, a VIP pass dangled from his neck.
More than 100 of photos posted on Facebook and Instagram since then, as well as some racing blogs, show Vorayuth visited at least nine countries since the crash.
Stops include the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Osaka, where he posed wearing robes from Hogwarts School's darkest dorm, Slytherin House.
His friends and cousins posting about him have hundreds of thousands of online followers.
Vorayth is regularly pictured partying in glamorous destinations around the world. In 2015 he celebrated Valentines Day with this ski trip to a luxury resort in Japan
In one snap, Vorayuth (third from left) appeared with a group of all ages in traditional Japanese clothing on a trip to Japan in August 2015
In December 2014, Vorayuth (second from left) was photographed smiling with a group of friends in Thailand
Police Sergeant-Major Wichian Klanprasert, pictured, died while riding his motorbike along Bangkok's Sukhumvit Road when he was hit by a grey Ferrari
Last summer in Japan he posted a ten-second video of sausage and eggs decorated with seaweed eyes, tagging a young relative. His parents responded with a thumbs-up.
His lifestyle - soaking in an Abu Dhabi pool, dining in Nice, France, holding a $10,000 bicycle in Bangkok - is supported by his family's billions.
Vorayuth flies around the world on private Red Bull jets, cheers their Formula One racing team from Red Bull's VIP seats and keeps a black Porsche Carrera in London with custom license plates: B055 RBR - which is code for 'Boss Red Bull Racing'.
And as recently as last month, the Associated Press found Vorayuth and his family vacationing in the ancient, sacred city of Luang Prabang, Laos.
The group stayed at a $1,000-a-night resort, dined in the finest restaurant, visited temples and lounged by the pool before flying home to Bangkok.
Vorayuth's grandfather, Chaleo Yoovidhya, grew up in poverty, the son of a duck seller. He was known as a modest, humble man who insisted on privacy.
Vorayuth's father Chalerm Yoovidhya, the oldest of 11 siblings, holds the final 2 percent. Red Bull reported more than $6 billion in sales last year. Vorayuth is pictured above in March 2012
As the family's wealth has grown, many of the younger generation have become glamorous socialites, traveling the world to shop, dine and play. Vorayuth is pictured above with friends in April 2015
Three generations of Vorayuth's family gather regularly for birthdays and anniversaries, and the younger family members also dance and drink in Bangkok's nightclubs. Vorayuth is pictured above sitting on what appears to be a private plane with a friend in October 2009
He founded TC Pharma in 1956 to import European medicines, but over the decades developed more products, especially drinks sold by the bottle or can.
A few years before Vorayuth was born, Chaleo partnered with an Austrian entrepreneur, Dietrich Mateschitz.
They put in $500,000 each to carbonate and globally market TC Pharma's caffeine-powered syrupy energy drink popular in Thailand among laborers, taxi drivers and jet-lagged tourists.
In 1987, when Vorayuth turned 1, Red Bull Energy Drink went international and his family's fortune boomed.
Red Bull sold more than 6 billion of its iconic slim cans in 2016 in more than 170 countries.
It has its own media company, a professional soccer team, race cars and jets. The company sponsors concerts, events and athletes worldwide, all ostensibly pumped up with the sweet drink.
Vorayuth allegedly killed a police officer, Wichean Glanprasert, in a hit-and-run accident on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok on September 3, 2012. Pictured above, he is escorted by police in Bangkok, Thailand, on September 3, 2012
This picture shows the scene of the crash that allegedly saw Yoovidhya crash his Ferrari into a motorcycle police officer - killing him
Mateschitz owns 49 percent of the company, the Yoovidhya family 49 percent in a complex licensing agreement with TC Pharma.
Vorayuth's father Chalerm Yoovidhya, the oldest of 11 siblings, holds the final 2 percent. Red Bull reported more than $6 billion in sales last year.
Forbes estimates Chalerm's net worth at $9.7 billion.
As the family's wealth has grown, many of the younger generation have become glamorous socialites, traveling the world to shop, dine and play. The family co-owns the only Ferrari dealership in town, as well as a winery.
Three generations gather regularly for birthdays and anniversaries, and the younger family members also dance and drink in Bangkok's nightclubs.
Vorayuth, attended Bradfield College in the English county of Berkshire. The boarding and day school charges as much as £35,280 annually for students to attend.
Vorayuth 'Boss' Yoovidhya, second left, whose grandfather co-founded energy drink company Red Bull, walks with his mother Daranee, second right, at the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi on November 26, 2016
Yoovidhya walks at the British Formula 1 Grand Prix in Silverstone, England, on June 30, 2013
The Associated Press has discovered 'Boss', then 27, was back to enjoying his family's jet-set life, largely associated with the Red Bull brand, an energy drink company co-founded by his grandfather, just weeks after the accident in 2012. he is pictured at the British GP in 2013
He made a rare post on Facebook on Saturday, saying he started school at the University of the Arts London and Central Saint Martins.
Critics of the heir's case have said it is just another example of the wealthy class in Thailand exploiting the country, which has struggled with rule of law for decades.
General Prayuth Chan-ochahe - the military general who came to power in a 2014 coup - declared war on corruption, pledging to make Thailand an equal and fair society.
But car accidents are frequently cited as an example that injustice persists, with 'Bangkok's deadly rich kids,' as one Thai newspaper described it, often receiving far more lenient sentences than ordinary citizens.
The Yoovidhya family attorney did not respond to AP's request to interview Vorayuth.
Experts who have spent years studying the Thai justice system said it is no surprise 'Boss' has managed to evade prosecution since the incident.
Vorayuth 'Boss' Yoovidhya is seen in a post he shared on social media wearing Red Bull Racing gear
Chalerm Yoovidhya of Red Bul Racing is seen in the pit lane during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 22, 2013
'There is most certainly a culture of impunity here that big people, which means roughly people with power and money, expect to be able to get away with a certain amount of wrongdoing,' British historian Chris Baker said.
'This happens so often, so constantly, it is very clearly part of the working culture.'
Vorayuth's legal situation is also far from unique, and appeared similar to a recent incident.
Last year, the son of a wealthy Thai businessman slammed his Mercedes Benz at high speed into a smaller car, killing two graduate students. His case is still pending in court.
In 2010, a 16-year-old unlicensed daughter of a former military officer crashed her sedan into a van, killing nine people.
The teen, from an affluent family, was given a two-year suspended sentence and didn't complete community service until last year.
Those cases are markedly different from most deadly car crashes, in which Thais are routinely arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to jail.
DETAILS OF THE ALLEGED FATAL HIT-AND-RUN BY VORAYUTH 'BOSS' YOOVIDHYA
Vorayuth was allegedly racing down Sukhumvit Road, one of Bangkok's main drags, in his Ferrari on September 3, 2012.
The super-car reportedly slammed into police Sgt. Maj. Wichean Glanprasert.
Over the next few hours after the crash, police traced their way to the Red Bull compound.
Initially investigators said a chauffeur had been behind the wheel of the car, windshield now shattered, bumper dangling.
But after senior officers arrived, Vorayuth turned himself in, his cap pulled low, his father holding his arm.
Later that day, the Yoovidhyas put up $15,000 bail at the police station and went home.
For Pornanan Glanprasert, Wichean's brother, and his sisters they were faced with a tragedy beyond belief.
In the days after the death, they attended funeral rites at the temple, where Buddhist monks chanted and incense burned.
One day Vorayuth and his mother made a surprise, private visit. Dressed in black, they pressed their palms together and bowed to Sgt. Maj. Wichean's portrait.
The policeman's family painfully grieved, but they figured at least there would be justice. Wichean was a police officer. Certainly the criminal justice system would hold his killer responsible.
Over days and months, the case unfolded. The Yoovidhya family attorney said Vorayuth left the scene not to flee, but because he was going home to tell his father.
As for blood tests showing Vorayuth was well over the legal alcohol limit, his attorney said his client was rattled by the crash and so drank 'to relieve his tenseness.'
Facing a flurry of public skepticism about whether affluence and influence would let Vorayuth off the hook, Bangkok's Police Commissioner Comronwit Toopgrajank promised integrity.
'We will not let this police officer die without justice. Believe me,' Comronwit said. 'The truth will prevail in this case. I can guarantee it.'
But when he retired in 2014, the case was still unresolved.
Vorayuth's attorney met with Wichean's family, who accepted a settlement of about $100,000.
In turn, they were required to sign a document promising not to press criminal charges, eliminating Thailand's legal option for victims to take suspects to court if police and prosecutors don't take action.
Since then, Vorayuth has missed several prosecutor orders to report to court on charges of speeding, hit-and-run, and reckless driving that caused death.
Police said Vorayuth admitted he was driving, but not recklessly - the officer swerved in front of him, he said. The speeding charge expired after a year.
The more serious charge of deadly hit-and-run, which police say carries a maximum six-month sentence, expires in September.
Reckless driving charges expire in another 10 years if they go unchallenged.
Complicating matters, Yoovidhya's attorney has repeatedly filed petitions claiming his client is being treated unfairly in the investigation.
Police spokesman Col. Krissana Pattanacharoen said his agency has done everything in its power to charge Vorayuth.
'I am not saying it is a case where the rich guy will get away with it.' Krissana said.
'I can't answer that question. But what I can answer is, if you look at the timeline here, what we did, by far there is nothing wrong with the inquiry officers who are carrying out the case.'