Someone Claiming To Be Douglas "Big Daddy" Shoebridge Contacted Me Today About More Australian-Thailand Outlaw Biker Stuff Post From Last Year.
Inside the world of wanted Perth man ‘Big Daddy’ Douglas Shoebridge
Tony Barrass and Andrew Drummond
The West Australian
Saturday, 25 May 2019 11:00AM
On the other end of the phone, Douglas Shoebridge cautiously answers my questions with his. Except the “so where are you” one.
He must be somewhere in Australia, judging by the numbers dialled. He refuses to say specifically, instead asking what evidence I personally had linking him to an international sex-trafficking racket about which Thai authorities want to question him.
None, I say, but was he aware of a Thai warrant for his arrest, a copy of which was in front of me? The tone of the man named in court documents as a fly-in-fly-out worker and known to Thai authorities as “Daddy” or “Big Daddy”, switches from slow and careful to slightly irritated.
“Of course I’m aware of it,” he bites before quickly reverting to calm and adding: “All these other things are hearsay until proven otherwise.”
These “other things” read like a Quentin Tarantino creation, set in a backdrop of corrupt police, dangerous drug runners and serious, heavyweight criminals.
Perth man Luke Cook and his wife Kanyarat Wechapitak were sentenced to death in Thailand.
Shoebridge had a knack of finding himself right in the middle of it, repeatedly. He’s one of many Australian FIFO workers who have based themselves in Asia. But up there, it’s a different world to sunny, safe and well-policed Australia.
Rewind to a balmy November morning in 2015 when security guard Suphan Phithakwong heard a commotion at the up-market Pattaya residential complex it was his job to patrol.
When he investigated, he saw five men, all but one wearing silk balaclavas to hide their identities, violently kicking, punching and screaming at another man who was being shoved into the back of a white Toyota utility.
The victim, as it turned out, was Hells Angel Wayne Schneider, a boy from Blacktown in Sydney’s tough western suburbs, who had worked his way up through the ranks, specialising in the manufacturing and distribution of large-scale commercial quantities of methamphetamines.
Well-known to the Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Federal Police and various State law-enforcement bodies, Schneider had skipped Australia in a hurry three years earlier after two major meth labs were uncovered in suburban Sydney. They were dripping with his DNA.
Now Schneider was in the process of being abducted, taken to a nearby house, stripped and bludgeoned to death. His body was then taken to the outskirts of town and buried in a shallow grave, just off the roadside.
Unaware at this stage they were dealing with a murder, Thai police seized CCTV footage and within a day had located the Toyota outside of a house rented to Shoebridge’s partner, Siraphat Saimat.
Her name was also on the Toyota rental paperwork.
Accessing the vehicle’s GPS, police established that once the vehicle had left the crime scene, it stopped at Saimat’s house before heading 30km out of town — where it was stationary for two hours — and then returned to Saimat’s Pattaya address.
Police then went to the out-of-town location where the vehicle had stopped, a small bush area showing signs of recent disturbances. They followed a track and it was always only going to be a matter of time before they found Wayne Schneider’s naked and battered body in a shallow grave.
Saimat told police that, on Shoebridge’s insistence, she had rented the property for another Australian, Antonio Bagnato. Bagnato had fled Australia to the seaside city in 2014 after a shooting murder in an underground carpark in Sydney’s Leichardt.
Although his cousin was ultimately convicted of the crime, Australian police still want to talk to him about it.
Bagnato, the bikie Schneider, Shoebridge and another Perth man, Luke Joshua Cook, became close associates and hung around Tony’s Gym, where they trained, and a nearby bar where they drank.
By some accounts, Bagnato became Schneider’s bodyguard, while Shoebridge continued to work for local police as a so-called “interpreter” in the special branch, colloquially known as “Catch a Foreigner Unit”.
Police believed there had been some sort of falling out between the men, and now they were hunting five suspects in Schneider’s murder. Just days after Schneider’s body was discovered, Bagnato was arrested as he tried to enter Cambodia.
He was extradited back to Thailand.
The security guard identified Bagnato as the only one not wearing a silk balaclava on the night Schneider was snatched at the compound. Thai police then charged him with Schneider’s murder and accused him of hiring thugs to abduct the high-profile bikie.
Bagnato was ultimately convicted of Schneider’s murder and sentenced to death, but has since successfully appealed, been released, been rearrested on gun charges and is now awaiting trial on arms charges in a military jail in eastern Thailand.
Shoebridge was questioned but not charged with any offence in relation to Schneider’s murder, but his evidence against Luke Cook was pivotal to a major police breakthrough.
Cook, who had received a suspended sentence after playing a role in helping Bagnato escape to the Cambodian border after Schneider’s death, was born in Duncraig.
He too had worked as a FIFO, working in the kitchen of various mine sites and at the Christmas Island Detention Centre. After meeting his wife, Kanyarat Wechapitak, online, he moved to Pattaya, bought a bar and set up a business importing boats and marine parts.
In the months before Schneider’s demise, Thai police believe Schneider gave Cook $15 million to buy 500kg of crystal methamphetamine from a Chinese drug syndicate.
The packaged ice was to be transferred from a Chinese trawler to an offshore yacht, stored in a secret location then imported into Australia at the behest and control of the Hell’s Angels.
Shoebridge told police he was on the yacht with Cook because Cook had weaved an elaborate tale about them looking for missing gold on the bottom of the ocean.
He claimed Cook, after drinking all day, had become aggressive and eventually admitted that it was hundreds of kilos of ice — and not gold — they were looking for.
Shoebridge said he became furious that he discovered he had been lied to. He felt as though he had been used because he was a good diver and could have helped Cook find what turned out to be drugs.
According to Shoebridge, Cook began to panic because he had lost a lot of people’s money and sooner or later they would be coming after him.
The half-a-tonne of ice would have netted $300 million on Australian streets. Eventually, four big packages containing 50kg each of ice were washed up on a nearby beach in Rayong Province.
Two years later, Thai authorities launched a series of raids in an attempt to crush some of the 30-plus chapters of Australian outlaw motorcycle gangs who had set up shop in Pattaya, Chang Mai, Phuket and Bangkok.
Authorities dubbed the operations “Clipping the Wings of Angels”.
As Cook and his wife were getting off a flight from Australia, police swooped. The pair was arrested and charged over the failed drug importation. Cash, properties, cars and a range of luxury assets allegedly owned by the couple were also seized.
Last November, Cook and Wechapitak were found guilty of breaking Thailand’s tough drug importation laws and sentenced to death. Shoebridge gave evidence against the couple. They in turn claimed to have been framed by the dual Australian-UK citizen.
The pair sit in a Thai jail waiting for their appeal to work its way through Thailand’s glacially slow justice system. In the meantime, they can only hope their sentence is commuted to life imprisonment.
The latest warrant issued by Thai authorities for Shoebridge’s arrest surrounds allegations of human trafficking for an international sex ring allegedly operating out of Pattaya.
The warrant follows the appearance at Bangkok Criminal Court of Tanzanian national Sara Musa Chitanda on similar charges on the orders of Police Colonel Nalinee Chiewnoi, commander of Thailand’s Human Trafficking Police.
Chitanda is alleged to have gone through a marriage service with Shoebridge in Dar es Salaam last year. It was also alleged that both acted together in the trade, and escorted the mostly African women to Thailand, putting them up in rooms in the Asoke Din-Daeng area of Bangkok.
Luke Cook’s father, who lives in New Zealand said: “Am I surprised, no? Not at all. My son was labelled a Hell’s Angel and sentenced to death in Thailand without any basis at all. He was an offshore caterer and still working at it to earn money when he was arrested returning to Thailand”.
Australian authorities can do little until they are asked to act. When approached for comment, the AFP could only say it was “aware of the matter and any further inquiries should be directed to Thailand authorities”.
As for Douglas Shoebridge, he remains an enigma on the other end of the line — maybe he’s here in WA, maybe he’s not.
He is only comfortable giving the most minuscule of details and quietly talking in riddles. “You just need to allow me to digest this.”
Getting nowhere, I ask if he wants to give me a written statement which we will publish telling his side of the chaos he seems to find himself it. No, he says, ring me later, let us say 2pm, and we will talk.
I call at 2pm. The phone rings out.
Private message regarding: More Australian-Thailand Outlaw Biker Stuff.
4:23 AM (4 hours ago)
Please kindly remove this post, as 'The West' has removed the publication entirely due to it's fraudulent content and offered an apology. This link is now dead - https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/inside-the-world-of-wanted-perth-man-big-daddy-douglas-shoebridge-ng-b881210945z
Click here to Reply
me (Greg Carr change)
8:42 AM (less than a minute ago)
- show quoted text -
I would like to congratulate you on having a pair. Sheer chutzpah. I cannot remove the post from last year in alt.true-crime and even if I could I wouldn't. I will be reposting it along with this email to alt.true-crime and other USENET groups. Links go 404 on a regular basis for a variety of reasons especially with the passage of time. Nothing fraudulent in the original web article perhaps it is libel in which case you should sue them. The article states that you have given evidence and testified against Mr.Cook a former friend in a 500kg meth case resulting in a death sentence for Mr.Cook and his wife in Thailand. Meth + Cook you can't make this *** up. What kind of person hangs out at a gym and drinks with a big time meth trafficker and a full patch Hell's Angel while working at the police dept? What kind of moron meth importer and idiot HAMC full patch hang out with a police dept employee? If Australia has a witness protection program like Canada and the United States you should avail yourself of it. Then again hiding out in plain sight sometimes works as well. I recieved a death threat from a full patch HAer 20 years ago as well as from lower level HA ppl over the years and I am still around. Unfortunatly so are they. I read once about a Mafia informer doing the hide in plain site and it worked.https://humanlife.asia/scots-man-known-as-big-daddy-escapes-thailand-before-arrest-warrant-issued-for-human-trafficking/
has a picture of you with a foxy woman in front and repeats much of the info of the original article. Saw some pictures of Mr.Cook. What was that dweeb doing hanging out with the rest of you? I think I will be reading about you in the future on the WWW.
Sincerly,Greg CarrSurrey, BC