Red Bull family in payout over road death
The billionaire family of the Red Bull energy drink heir accused of killing a Thai police officer in a hit-and-run accident have paid the officer’s family nearly £60,000 in a deal aimed at avoiding a civil action.
Vorayuth Yoovidhya, 27, is charged with driving a Ferrari that hit the officer and dragged his body down a Bangkok street earlier this month.
The Yoovidhya family paid the officer’s siblings three million baht (£59,700) last week, police Lieutenant Colonel Viradon Thubthimdee said yesterday. He said the settlement would protect Vorayuth from a civil lawsuit.
“We sometimes call this a ‘funeral fee’. If the victim’s party is satisfied with the amount of money, then they will not seek compensation through a court,” Lt Col Viradon said.
The payment, however, does not protect Vorayuth from criminal charges of causing death by reckless driving and fleeing to avoid arrest. If convicted, he faces up to ten years in jail.
The payment from the extremely wealthy family is also unlikely to quell public outrage over the incident and an initial attempt to cover up Vorayuth’s alleged involvement by arresting a bogus suspect.
The family was ranked fourth richest in Thailand this year by Forbes magazine, with a net worth of £3.3 billion. They own a range of businesses, including shares in the Red Bull brand and real estate – and the sole importer of Ferrari cars in Thailand.
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