The family of Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya, accused of killing a policeman in a hit-and-run accident, has reportedly paid the officer’s siblings three million baht (€75,200) in a bid to avoid a civil lawsuit.
The payment was revealed by a police statement issued on 26 September, and follows the accident earlier this month.
Yoovidhya is accused of driving a Ferrari that struck the policeman and of failing to stop.
In the statement, Lt Col Viradon Thubthimdee said the payment to the officer’s family should protect the 27-year-old 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,” he added.
However, the move does not protect Yoovidhya, whose grandfather created the Red Bull energy drink, from criminal charges. He could face a fine and 10 years in jail if found guilty.
Austria-based Red Bull was founded in 1984 when Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz partnered with Chaleo Yoovidhya to market globally the energy drink Chaleo had created and sold in Thailand.
Chaleo died in March, leaving his heirs his stake in the family business and other interests. The family is thought to be the fourth wealthiest in Thailand, with Forbes pegging its net worth at $5.4 billion (€4.2 billion).