Red Bull heir held for police death

A grandson of the inventor of the Red Bull drink has been arrested accused of killing a Bangkok police officer in a hit-and-run.

Police held Vorayuth Yoovidhya, 27, for questioning after tracing oil streaks to his family's estate in a wealthy neighbourhood of the Thai capital.

He was facing charges of causing death by reckless driving and escaping arrest but was released on bail.

Vorayuth admitted the accident in his Ferrari but said the police officer's motorcycle abruptly cut in front of his vehicle.

Bangkok's top police official, Lt. Gen. Comronwit Toopgrajank, said he took charge of the investigation after the local police superintendent tried to cover up the crime by turning in a bogus suspect. Gen. Comronwit personally led a team of officers who searched the compound of late Red Bull founder Chaleo Yoovidhya, one of Thailand's wealthiest men who died this year, and confiscated a Ferrari with a badly damaged front bumper and broken windscreen.

The victim was killed while on a motorcycle patrol. Thai media reports said that the car dragged the officer and his motorcycle for several dozen feet as it sped through the residential neighbourhood.

Gen. Comronwit said he suspended the police superintendent for attempting to subvert the investigation.

"A policeman is dead. I can't let this stand. If I let this case get away, I'd rather quit," he said. "I don't care how powerful they are. If I can't get the actual man in this case, I will resign."

The Yoovidhya family was ranked the fourth richest in Thailand this year by Forbes magazine with a net worth of 5.4 billion dollars (£3.39 billion). Red Bull creator Chaleo Yoovidhya died in his 80s in March, leaving his heirs a wide range of businesses, including shares in the brand, hospitals and property.

The family also co-owns the sole authorised importer of Ferrari cars in Thailand.