Vorayuth: Drug charge recommended

A five-member panel of prosecutors yesterday urged police to re-investigate whether Red Bull scion Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya abused cocaine, as well review the speed of his Ferrari when it crashed into a police officer in his deadly 2012 hit-and-run case, and send the case back by Aug 20.

Charnchai Chalanonniwat, deputy director-general of the Department of Criminal Litigation and deputy head of the panel, said police have been told to look into the speed of Mr Vorayuth’s Ferrari and question two specialists who gave different estimates of the super car’s velocity.

Sathon Vijarnwannaluk, a physics lecturer at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Science, and former deputy Bangkok governor Samart Ratchapollasit disagreed with another police witness over the speed.

Mr Sathon’s calculation showed the Ferrari was travelling at 177kph while Mr Samart estimated the car was running “at no less than 126 kph”. However, the charge of reckless driving causing death was dropped.

Mr Charnchai said the car speed estimates made by Mr Sathon and Mr Samart were crucial pieces of evidence but they never came up in the investigation and may affect the case.

He said police are also looking into concerns surrounding the testimony of automotive safety and assessment expert Saiprasit Koetniyom who concluded that the Ferrari was travelling at a legal speed of about 76kph.

It was alleged that the permit of Mr Saiprasit, director of Automotive Safety and Assessment Engineering Research Centre at King Mongkut’s University of Technology, North Bangkok, had already expired when he gave his opinion about the Ferrari’s speed.

He said the panel has also recommended that police press a charge of narcotics abuse against Mr Vorayuth in the wake of a lab test report indicating traces of cocaine in Mr Vorayuth’s body.

A blood test after the crash showed the presence of benzoylecgonine and cocaethylene, two substances that appear in the blood after cocaine use.

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