Wayne Rodney Schneider
The kidnapped 38-year-old Australian Hells Angels motorcycle gang member Wayne Rodney Schneider was found dead at a roadside bush in Sattahip district in Chonburi province. His naked and tatooed body was found buried 2 metres deep under the ground at a roadside bush on the road from Viharn Sien Chinese temple to Khao Cheechan hill in Sattahip.
He was kidnapped by five masked men driving in a pick-up truck in the seaside tourist city of Pattaya on Monday morning from his rented home in Jomtien Park Villas housing estate.
Chonburi police commander Pol Maj Gen Ampol Buarapporn said this morning that the police could locate the pickup truck which the kidnappers rented from a car rental shop on Pattaya Sai 3 road fixed with GPS tracking system.
Checking of the vehicles GPS position showed it stopped at Phra Tamnak hill in South Pattaya, and last position was at the road to Khao Cheechan hill where it stopped at 7.00 am on Monday morning for two hours before moving out.
Pattaya police chief Pol Col Sukthat Pumpunmuang said the team of police went to the location and found tyre tracks of the pickup truck driving 100 metres off the road into the roadside bush.
They searched the area and found the burial ground where there were fresh traces of soils being dug out. The team dug the place and found his naked and tatooed body buried two metres deep under the ground. He had cut on his left eyebrow and his neck was also broken indicating he was beaten up and killed before burying him.
His body was sent to Chonburi hospital for forensic autopsy today. Police said they have issued warrant for the arrest of a 26-year-old Australian man, Antonio Bagnato, for allegedly conspiring with four others to kidnap Mr Schneider from his home in Pattaya.
The wanted suspect was his partner in a Sydney fitness business. According to Bangkok Post, Bagnato was believed to come from New South Wales, where Mr Schneider hailed from, and is a fellow biker with a residence in Pattaya.
Police said Mr Schneider had been living in Pattaya for a month. He reportedly was invited to share a house by Amad Malkoun, a former leader of Australias criminal Comancheros biker gang.
In April, the Melbourne Herald-Sun reported that Mr Malkoun had become estranged from his gang amid pressure from law enforcement. He had since relocated to Dubai. Mr Schneiders Hells Angels has since supplanted the Comancheros as Australias top outlaw gang, according to the Post.
Australias ABC News said Thai police said they were working with Australian law enforcement on the case and had made contact with Mr Schneiders Thai wife, who also is in Dubai.
Earlier Pol Col Sukthat Pumpunmuang, told ABC that Schneider who has a long criminal history dating back at least 10 years is on a watchlist for Australian police to follow up and also follow up his friends in a gang.
Mr Schneider was arrested six years ago for drug trafficking, obstruction of justice, and involvement in the theft of 5 million baht from a Melbourne casino. In 2007, he was on New South Wales most wanted list for 18 months over the shooting of a bouncer outside the Sapphire Suite nightclub in Kings Cross in 2006.
Police earlier said CCTV cameras at the home were out of order. But a security guard confirmed Mr Bagnato was one of the abductors. Officers found paraphernalia used for taking crystal methamphetamine inside the house and Thai media photographed two bullet casings and spatters of blood outside.
The motive behind the kidnap is not known, but police are working on a theory that the incident may involve a personal conflict between Mr Schneider and other bikers, or a dispute over an illegal drug business.
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