'Disguised as tourists': Three Australians arrested in Thailand over 2015 murder

Three Australian members of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang have been arrested and charged with multiple offences in Thailand, with local authorities alleging their involvement "in the murder and secret burial of an Australian two years ago."

The men, who are yet to be identified, were arrested alongside a Canadian national on Wednesday, in the Thai tourist district of Pattaya. All four men are aged between 32 and 42.

It remains unclear what charges have been laid, however it is said they are related to their alleged involvement in "extortion, money laundering, illicit drugs and human trafficking."

Acting deputy commissioner of tourist police Pol Maj Gen Surachet Hakpal, told local media the men "were disguised as tourists and threatened national security."

He also alleged they were "the same group of people involved in the murder and secret burial of an Australian two years ago," referring to the violent killing and burial of alleged Hells Angels drug kingpin Wayne Schneider in 2015.

Schneider's naked and mutilated body was found in a grave a short drive from the Pattaya villa where he was abducted by five men, four of whom wore balaclavas.

The Thai arrests come as NSW Deputy State Coroner Teresa O'Sullivan handed down her findings into Schneider's death, finding the alleged drug kingpin died by homicide.

According to the Bangkok Post, local police in Pattaya raided five luxury houses in Tambon Nong Prue of Bang Lamung district on Wednesday, seizing guns, ammunition, knives and two luxury vehicles.

All four men who were arrested underwent urine testing, with police finding traces of illegal drugs in two of the samples.

"These people entered Thailand, married Thai women, were without regular jobs, but had luxury houses and cars and spent lavishly," Pol Maj Gen Surachet said.

It is understood police had planned to arrest a total of eight foreign nationals on Wednesday, however one has since fled the country, while the remaining three are believed to be hiding in Bangkok.

The permits and visas of all eight people have been revoked.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the Australian Embassy in Bangkok was "seeking to confirm the arrests of three Australians with local authorities and to offer them consular assistance in accordance with the Consular Services Charter."

Do you know more? Email lucy.cormack@fairfaxmedia.com.au

The story 'Disguised as tourists': Three Australians arrested in Thailand over 2015 murder first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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