‘WANTED FUGITIVES, DUBIOUS INDIVIDUALS’ & ROGUE POLICE IN THAILAND IN…
A HOLLYWOOD NARRATIVE THAT NEVER MADE THE GRADE
(continued from 'Black Slave Trade in Thailand - the Australian who walked away')
After Australian offshore worker Douglas Shoebridge gave testimony which led to the death sentence for another Aussie offshore worker and former mate, he claimed he was merely seeking justice.
He did not have any grudge, he said.
But in a fuller reply as to why he accused Australian offshore caterer Luke Cook and his Thai wife of drugs trafficking for the Hell’s Angels he seemed to admit what the grudge was:
” We were innocent prosecution witnesses and victims seeking justice against defendants, who are now facing criminal charges for document forgery and for defrauding offshore workers from 2012 to 2016 with bogus investments and non-existent registered properties.“Douglas Shoebridge, added the rider ‘Not a grudge’.
The second witness was fellow offshore worker and West Australian Craig Smith. Both had had complained of bad business deals with Luke Cook through his Thai wife’s legal consultancy and both were helping police to prosecute both the Cooks for drugs trafficking.
The Cooks do not face criminal charges for document forgery and defrauding offshore workers. But there were certainly disputes.
Shoebridge fled justice himself when a warrant of arrest was issued against him for trafficking East African women to the sex trade in Bangkok, This was a case in which, it was claimed, a baby born to one of the African women was drowned at birth, because, he interfered with business. (Part 1)
Again he claimed to be the victim.
“I’m a victim of. malicious clandestine missions executed by wanted fugitives, and dubious individuals and organisations.’Douglas Shoebridge
In some respects he was right about dubious individuals He was surrounded by them but he did not count himself among them.
But his accusations against the anti-trafficking Ngo ‘Lift International’ and the New Zealand detectives who provided their services to investigate him, while also alleging corruption in the Thai unit, which also investigated him, sound a little bit rich.
For in the Thai police unit, where Shoebridge had hung his hat, three people pulled in as ‘informants’ ran their own lucrative and illegal ‘steroid exporting’ businesses, one was a fugitive from felony charges in the U.S. and another, with a drink problem, was hoping for assistance in getting off charges of causing death by dangerous driving while drunk.
This was the quite notorious ‘Combatting Foreign Crime’ unit of the Thai Police, operated by Lt. Colonel Dullayapat Dechapornyasin, where Douglas Shoebridge had offered his services, while also allegedly bringing Kenyan and Tanzanian women to Bangkok to sell their bodies on the streets.
Both Shoebridge’s ‘alleged’ black slave business and and the rogue unit, for whom he volunteered, have now been shut down.
But apart from an African woman, Shoebridge’s abandoned mistress, who served two years of a four year jail sentence, nobody has been brought to justice.
Dullayapat, as is customary in Thailand was ‘transferred to an inactive post’ – namely the police station at Wiang Sa in the country’s northern Nan province, where he no longer gets the rich pickings available in the resort of Pattaya.
His ‘Combatting Foreign Crime’ unit had gained notoriety for a number of reasons leading to Dullayapat changing his name several times.
- Firstly, there were those foreign volunteer-informants dealing in illegal substances on an international scale. Arrests of rivals in the business was by far the largest source of income.
- Secondly, according to informants, Dullayapat generally viewed arrests and trials of criminals as a bad outcome to an investigation – preferring instead large payoffs. Only when victims could not pay were they carted off to a real police station.
- And thirdly, this was all an open secret because foreign victims had gone back to their home countries to tell the media their stories of corruption relating to the unit.
Not that the media back home was very interested. Corruption in Thailand is not news. ‘My years in a Thai hell hole prison’ is better than yet another boring Thai ‘corruption’ yarn, as in the case of Briton called Neil Harley Pattinson, above, who packaged and sent off steroids and became the sacrificial lamb for his for his British boss.
It is easy to see why Shoebridge could be useful to Colonel Dullayapat’s unit. He worked out daily at the gym and had for quite some time been associating with ‘foreign criminals’, the most notable being Antonio Bagnato, wanted in connection with a murder in Sydney, on his breaks onshore while working offshore for companies which included Total Marine, of West Australia.
Bagnato was in turn very friendly with Australian Hells Angel Wayne Schneider, who fled Sydney in 2012 within 24 hours of police raiding two clandestine methyl-amphetamine labs in Narellan and Catherine Fie;lds, NSW in 2012, where his DNA was found. And a full two years before the Cooks were arrested for drugs trafficking, Thai murder police had linked Shoebridge and his Thai wife to Wayne Schneider’s murder.
DULLAYAPAT’S OTHER FOREIGN HELPERS
Joshua Pate, fluent Thai, a U.S, citizen from Dallas, Texas, where he was wanted on assault charges. A self confessed steroid dealer, heclaimed to have worked with Dullayapat since he was aged 23, initially ripping off counterfeit goods sellers in Bangkok, making up to US$50,000 a month. After whistleblowing in the Luke Cook case, he was arrested by Dullayapat with his Burmese Wa hill tribe wife near Burmese border.
He had houses in Burma and Thailand and a Shan-Burmese wife. Charged with dealing steroids and other prescription medicines he was jailed for four years, but released last year after two Royal Pardons. Now in Los Angeles he says he is writing a book about his time with Thai police. He claimed he introduced Shoebridge to Col. Dullayapat. He knew Shoebridge through his steroid business. He admitted a warrant had been taken out for him in the US for assault, but the case was not proceeded with on his return. He has also claimed that Shoebridge and Craig Smith had brought the African women to Dullayapat’s police house.
Boris Klimov, Russian-Israeli, arrested for dealing steroids on an international level. Joined after paying, he said, he paid 2 million Thai baht (US$60,000) for charges to go away and became part of the team. He was part of the surveillance team on Luke Cook. He said he was present when offshore Australian Joel McGarry was briefed to lie at Cook’s trial. When Boris was arrested by local police on a visa over-stay,he said Dullayapat refused to help. Another member of the team turned up at the lockup and he gave that member his card and pin to get him some cash. He never saw that team member again. Klimov was deported to Israel.
A ship’s master from WA McGarry had been accused of causing death of a Thai while drunk driving. Went to the team for help but while there was briefed to testify against Luke Cook to say Cook had offered him 500,000 Thai baht to skipper a boat to find the’ Ice’ he had dumped at sea. He did not know Cook and had to be shown a photo. Fluffed his lines. He fled. Later jailed for four years for the road accident. Deported back to Australia earlier last year.
Thierry Perenon, French, liked to wear uniform and medals, owned Top Steroids Online website illegally trafficking steroids from Thailand. Featured in news stories in Thailand particularly Khao Sod/Fresh News (English) for demanding cash from people stating his police credentials. Was involved in Luke Cook case doing surveillance shifts and the arrest of Anastasia Vashukevich.
Close associate of Shoebridge. Is a fluent speaker and writer of Thai. He helped in translations for Luke Cook’s trial. He also became a witness against in the trial to link Cook and his wife to Hell’s Angels. While working for Dullayapat he helped Shoebridge set up Australian Stephen Carpenter for running his Pattaya ‘sex and booze cruises’. He took part in several operations of Dullayapat’s team. Including assisting a national operation called ‘Clipping the Wings of Angels against biker gangs. This year he took out a restraining order against Carpenter at Fremantle Court after receiving threats.
But this did not become public until December 7th 2017 Shoebridge and his Thai wife Siriphat were both been named in a New South Wales inquest in Sydney into the death of Schneider, who in 2015 was dragged from his home in Pattaya and then tortured to death before being buried in a shallow grave outside town. by a gang led by Antonio Bagnato Bagnato was extradited to Australian earlier this year to face a murder in Sydney.
Shoebridge and Siriphat Saimat had provided two vehicles used by the gang for the kidnap and disposal of Schneider’s body. And they even rented the house, with Shoebridge handing over 100,000 baht rental, in which the torturing and murder took place, Det Sgt Paul Roe of the New South Wales Gang Squad told the coroner, baht rental in cash (US$2,888).
‘Shoebridge and Bagnato had been described as ‘extremely close’ by Siriphat’, Sgt Roe added.
Siripat had given Bagnato their own vehicle, a white Isuzu D-Max, and rented a second vehicle, a Toyota utility on his behalf. The Toyota was used in the kidnap and also the disposal of Schneider’s body. Siriphat’s own vehicle was used by Bagnato himself.
“When it was seized inside the vehicle were personal possessions of Bagnato as well as a military style semi-automatic rifle, a semi-automatic pistol with laser sight, two Tasers, and ammunition including six magazines containing 5.56 mm rounds,” said Sgt Paul Roe
The Australian media did not pick up on this, perhaps because, Sgt Roe, of the New South Wales Gang Squad had Shoebridge down on the inquest record as a British national. (He had dual Australian British citizenship but used words such as ‘skerrick’ that the average Brit would not understand, and certainly few from Lochgelly, Fife, in Scotland.
(skerrick [ sker-ik ] noun Australian. a small piece or quantity; a bit: Not even a skerrick of cake was left)
Searching for gold?
Shoebridge’s star performance came two years after Schneider’s murder in 2017 after he told Lt. Colonel Dullayapat that his former ‘mate’ Australian Luke Cook, 38, an offshore caterer, also from Perth, WA, had been paid US$10 million by Wayne Schneider to bring nearly half a ton of methamphetamine ‘Ice’ into Thailand on board his yacht Jomandy back in 2015.
And this drugs feud related directly directly to the murder of Schneider a major press conference was told in Bangkok after Cook was arrested on his return from Australia in December 2017 and charged with drugs trafficking.
Hosting the press conference were Police Lt. General Weerapon Chuenpakdi, Director of the Centre for Transnational Crime, and one of Thailand’s top cops, together with Pol Lt Gen Sommai Kongwisaisuk, head of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau.
The story had it all
From information provided by Shoebridge, the generals announced that Cook was a member of the Hell’s Angels who had brought 500 kgs of ‘ice’ into Thai waters on his yacht ‘Jomandy’ but had dumped it after being caught in the in the searchlight of a Naval patrol vessel and 50 kgs had washed up on a local beach.
Cook had been paid US$10 million by Schneider to give to the Chinese who had brought the drugs offshore in a trawler. Schneider had been murdered as a result of the drugs feud. Bagnato had at that time been sentenced to death for the murder of Schneider.
The story had a Hollywood narrative and the media printed it, as spoken. But Cook was an offshore caterer not a Hell’s Angel. He did have a motorbike, but not a Harley. And the riches police said he had, nine properties, and luxury cars etc worth 20 million baht did not exist. He still had to work offshore. His house was mortgaged, His BMW was paid for monthly. In short, he had the unusual riches of an off-shore worker, also running a successful business while onshore.
It would make more sense if the known villains Schneider and Bagnato had the row over money. that Schneider had handed it over to Bagnato, rather than outsider Cook, who then commissioned Cook to sail his yacht to meet with the trawler, and possibly never let the cash out of his sight. Or maybe Bagnato just kept the money! Drugs bosses don’t move drugs themselves. Drugs bosses make secretive bank transfers.
But the evidence only suggested that, if anything, Cook was just another ‘gofer’ for Bagnato, but at a lower level than Shoebridge. Bagnato had rented a room ‘for meetings’ at Cook’s Jolly Piss Stop bar and guest house at Shoebridge’s suggestion. (Later police found arms in the room). Cook also drove Bagnato to the Cambodian border after Schneider’s murder. But he told the court he only did so at gunpoint and was released after his trial, for time served.
Shoebridge, who was closer to Bagnato, was out of the country at the time of Schneider’s murder, using one of his two passports.
‘Why would you dive for drugs which had floated away?’ – judge
Although he was two years late with his information, possibly because Schneider was dead and by now Bagnato had been sentenced to death, from the moment he went to police to spin his story Shoebridge had metaphorically signed up for service as the prime witness in Dullayapat’s case against Cook, which had been taken up by the Thai Narcotics Suppression Bureau and earmarked for high publicity.
In short, his evidence was that Cook had recruited him as a diver to go looking for gold which Cook said had been dumped by Chinese in the Gulf of Thailand south of Pattaya!
(Drugs mules when arrested in Thailand have often claimed they thought they were carrying jewellery or gold. They are never believed.)
He went out three times with Cook even buying a ROV1 underwater drone on his direction for US$10,000 to aid in their search. But they found nothing.
On the last trip, said Shoebridge, a drunken Cook confessed to his horror that it was not gold but ‘ice’ or methamphetamine they were looking for. Cook said he had dumped nearly 500 kgs of it after being caught in the searchlights of a naval vessel.
Supplying Laotian women to Hell’s Angels
Craig Smith, from Fremantle – the man who had turned up for Sara Chitanda’s trial in the black sex trafficking case. (Part 1) told the court he knew that the Cooks were friendly with the Hell’s Angels because Kanyarat supplied Laotian women to them.
Smith, who was another one of Dullayapat’s team offered no further evidence for this.
There would be no need for Hell’s Angels to require a supplier of women. By far the highest proportion of thousands of ‘working girls’ in Pattaya come from the Lao speaking north east Thailand.
- No evidence was offered from the Thai Navy which could find no patrol boat crew, which turned its searchlights on Shoebridge’s yacht.
- No evidence was shown that ‘Jomandy’ had even left its berth in the local Jomtien Marina at the time, either from Marina staff or the boat’s own navigation equipment.
- No trace of drugs was ever found linking the Cooks to vast riches and Shoebridge’s diving qualifications did not exist.
- No evidence was presented that Cook had even met Schneider.
- But evidence of a bitter cash feud between Shoebridge and the Cook’s was presented to the court.
None of these facts were reported in any of the media.
But at the first court and Appeal Court the evidence was sufficient for death penalties for drugs trafficking to be passed on Luke Cook and the two alleged accomplices, Cook’s wife Kanyarat Wedphitak, 44, and American Tyler Gerard, 27.
This immediately led to two of Shoebridge’s informant colleagues Boris Klimov and Joshua Pate, (‘a wanted fugitive and a dubious person’ – see ‘Dullayapat’s other foreign helpers’ above) to going public about evidence they said was ‘concocted by Shoebridge’.
Shoebridge, they said, had an obsessive grudge against Cook and his wife as a result of a feud over money over a company he had asked her to form so he could sell steroids. ‘Shoebridge was determined to win,’ said Klimov.
This feud was confirmed in Thailand both in the Supreme Court and outside the court by Luke Cook’s wife Kanyarat Wedphitak, who said that Shoebridge had been out to destroy their names.
She did not set the company up because the Food and Drug Administration would not grant a licence to him, and Shoebridge had failed to find required Thai nominee shareholders for his company. And she did not want to find them for him because, if he was doing something illegal, they could be prosecuted.
Klimov and Pate, both admitted they made their money from illegally exporting their own steroids with Dullayapat’s permission. In fact, Klimov said he was initially arrested for exporting steroids by Dullayapat, but once he had paid his 2 million baht ‘fine’ he was allowed to continue and become an informant himself.
But both said they thought the Dullayapat and Shoebridge had gone ‘too far this time’. But both also had been disenfranchised. Pate had either been fired or resigned, depending on which story you believe, and Klimov had been deported for overstaying his visa and Dullayapat had refused him help.
So, while their evidence should be treated with caution, both interestingly pointed out that Shoebridge had claimed in his original statement that he had been asked to go looking for drugs not gold. But he was told to change his story as he would be implicating himself in crime. They forwarded to me what they claimed was his final statement, which closely matched what was said in court.
Shoebridge’s evidence was finally scathingly discredited by the Thai Supreme Court last October, where it was described as both ‘imponderable and inadmissible’ and Shoebridge himself as ‘not an honest man’. All three defendants were acquitted and freed.
The judgement noted, if the drugs had floated and some had washed ashore miles away, why would they diving for them in the first place? The judges might have added that if they were looking for gold and, as they claimed the visibility was bad, would it not have been better and cheaper had Shoebridge suggest they hired or bought an underwater metal detector. And why would anyone, let alone Chinese, dump gold in the Gulf of Thailand?
Further evidence in court statements showed that Shoebridge and Luke Cook were fellow offshore (FIFO Fly-in Fly Out) workers who had had worked on the same ships and known each other for eight years.
The media and public never knew, because the trial was not covered **,
The Hollywood narrative had fallen apart in court and full truth may never come out. Luke Cook has remained silent since his release. ***
African women entertained in Thai police safe house
Shoebridge’s time with Dullayapat’s squad flourished while the Cooks’ trial and appeals were ongoing, as did his alleged ‘black sex slavery operation’.
In fact, claimed Pate, now back in the U.S., Shoebridge had even taken Sara Chitanda, his partner in the business, to Dullayapat’s safe house in Pattaya with Craig Smith.
(Witness ‘Jenny’ confirms she knows one of the women named by Pate not previously known to the author)
Shoebridge took part in several of Dullayapat’s operations including a raid which made world headlines in which Anastasia Vashukevich, also known as Nastya Rybka and a group of Russians were arrested in Pattaya for running a ‘sex seminar’. But, his main job there appeared to be just to stand around looking tough and going through computers.
Russians & the election of Donald Trump
Escort Nastya had alleged she had evidence incriminating Russian collusion in the 2016 election of President Trump through her relationship with sanctioned oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who had hired her ‘girlfriend’ services.
According to the Russian Anti-Corruption Foundation run by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Deripaska had arranged her imprisonment in Thailand through his agents because she was talking too much. Officially this was a request from the Russian Embassy, which later banned visits to her by U.S. officials. Anastasia and nine other Russians were sentenced to 18 months on prostitution charges but released and paroled after nearly a year.
‘Sex booze cruise’
Together with his mate Australian Craig Smith, Shoebridge had also arranged for the arrest of another ‘mate’, Australian Stephen Carpenter, in a case which made headlines in both London, and Sydney.
Carpenter had offered boat trips in Pattaya with Thai sex workers to Australian tourists through his ‘AUSTHAI’ tour business. What happened on the ‘lads day out’ cruises was tamer than some of the antics going onshore in bars, where owners paid police to operate, though the women and their sex services would have been available later onshore.
On his release last year, after receiving two Kings Pardons on an 8-year three-month sentence, Carpenter claimed that Colonel Dullayapat had demanded 2 million Thai baht (US$53,810) for his freedom, but he did not have the money.
While on remand Dullayapat had even visited him twice in jail to try and get him to change his mind and pay, said Carpenter.****
He had stopped running his ‘Pattaya booze cruises’ six months prior to his arrest, as he had moved to the island of Phuket and was preparing and serving Aussie food in the Patong Beach ‘Aussie Bar’ .
He had pleaded guilty because: “The judge threatened me with a life sentence if I did not.”
‘I thought he was my mate’
He said he had been a ‘mate’ of Shoebridge ever since he had managed the ‘Lion Bar’ in Pattaya. He had even stayed in Shoebridge’s apartment when he was between the Pattaya and Phuket jobs. Shoebridge, he said, had even suggested taking over the booze cruise business and he had printed some promotional leaflets for him at a cost of nearly US$150.
They went out together on his nights off and they even took trips to Bangkok together.
But after he left for Phuket, offshore worker Craig Smith called him posing as a ‘punter’ and coaxed him to come back to ‘run just one more trip’. (This is not disputed by Thai police).
Carpenter was arrested after accepting the cash deposit of 19,000 baht (US$500) sent to him by Craig Smith. He had rung back to cancel and return the cash because he had relatives arriving from Australia. But the offer had been made which was enough for the police prosecution.
The feud between Shoebridge, Craig Smith and Carpenter carries on to this day with restraining orders being taken out in the courts in Perth and Fremantle, WA. Luke Cook and Shoebridge also have restraining orders against each other.
Having spent four years in a Thai jail, Carpenter had freely admitted making abusive and threatening calls to both Shoebridge and Smith on his release (hence the restraining orders). And, as he believed he ‘had been framed by Shoebridge, he also offered to provide evidence for Luke Cook’s Supreme Court appeal.
Now running successful businesses out of Stockton, NSW he says he is a changed man. He helped raise AUS$100,000 for victims of flooding in Lismore last year.
In his affidavit, after describing how Smith and Shoebridge had framed him. Carpenter said that Shoebridge was ‘pretty mouthy about the things he was doing with police’.
Shoebridge had taken delight in showing him some pornographic pictures and videos he had downloaded on his mobile phone copied from material seized during the Anastasia raid. “This featured a lot of hitting with leather belts.”
And on a trip to Bangkok Shoebridge had told him he was going with police to visit Bagnato in on death row in Bangkwang prison Bangkok, nicknamed ‘The Big Tiger’.
Escaping the death penalty the easy way?
“The reason, he said, was to negotiate Bagnato’s release on appeal – at a price. I can’t say whether he did or not. But later he showed me video showing him going into Bangkwang Prison. He told me to drive his red Ford Ranger back to Pattaya, as, he said he had a ride back with the police. Later the murder charge was dropped, so that made me believe his story” said Carpenter.
Bagnato, who had been sentenced to death for Schneider’s murder, was subsequently acquitted of the murder of Schneider and given instead a three year sentence on assault charges. This despite the fact that he had been identified carrying out the kidnap with four others by two security guards who had seen him coming and going to Schneider’s house ‘as a friend’ many times. Bagnato was transferred back to Australia last July to face charges in connection with the murder of 25-year-old Bradley Dillon in Sydney in 2014.
Carpenter said in his statement he was aware Shoebridge used and dealt steroids and dealt in them, as he even kept a syringe in the console of his car (the red Ford Ranger). ‘I asked him what’s that for?’
“Just a little juice to help me along,” he replied.
Australian Crime Commission
While on a trip to Bangkok in November 2017 Shoebridge told him that Luke Cook was going to be arrested on his return from Australia. (He was arrested the following month)
“Shoebridge said that Luke Cook and his wife had been interviewed by the Australian Crime Commission and gave them information about the drugs which Luke Cook was involved with. Shoebridge said that Luke Cook was given immunity in Australia by the ACC in exchange for the information he had given them. But the ACC had notified the Thai police and given them Luke’s statement and he would be arrested on his return.”
(That statement was clearly questionable. No such statements would ever have come out of the ACC. The Australian Federal police have emphatically stated that they had no involvement in the Luke Cook case and as Australia does not have the death penalty it does not supply evidence in cases to countries where the death penalty applies.
But, it could be taken as an indication that already Shoebridge exaggerating his knowledge and trying to deflect people from looking closely at his own actions. He would probably have known when Cook was due to be arrested from Colonel Dullayapat. On the other hand it would make more sense for an Australian with information about an Australian criminal to report it to Australian Police in Thailand first, if only to protect himself.)
‘Life is good’
Said Carpenter from Stockton, NSW: “He led me to believe he was talking to the Australian police. I believed it at the time, as Cook was arrested a week or two later on his return from Australia.
” I can’t be bothered now to travel 2,500 miles to Perth to have it out with Shoebridge for what he and Craig Smith did. He’s done me a favour. I was just wasting my life in Thailand. Now I have two successful businesses and life is good.
“I do not know why they set me up. I knew Shoebridge, but I did not know Craig Smith, which is why Shoebridge and Dullayapat used him to call me. I did owe Shoebridge about 4000 Thai baht (US$112) I remember him asking me for it on a night out in Nana Plaza*, but I said I needed it. Could that really have been the reason? I don’t think so. I think it was just in his nature. He thought the booze cruises were a good business.”
“As for Shoebridge’s partner Sara. Yes I knew her. He introduced me to her in Bangkok in the Arab area (Sukhumvit Soi 3). At the time Shoebridge and I were on one our trips to Bangkok and staying in the same hotel. I also knew Shoebridge’s Thai wife and daughter, so I was a little surprised. But I did not know what Shoebridge and Sara were supposedly doing.”
A murder, massive drugs operation and sex trafficking group – where did all the big guys go?
So now a murder in Thailand has been committed for which nobody has been convicted. A massive drugs operation has allegedly been exposed for which there has been no culprit. And an investigation into black sex slave operation has also gone up in smoke disappeared in a sea of evasion.
“No grudge, No role, No evidence. Keep on underestimating”
Douglas Shoebridge has denied he was involved in sex trafficking and claims a warrant for his arrest has been cancelled. He said he was a victim of ‘malicious clandestine missions executed by wanted fugitives, and dubious individuals and organisations.’ And he answered a few selected questions including the grudge one, out of some 30 presented to him.
Shoebridge denied he had a grudge against the Cooks, though his fuller answer suggests the opposite. He said that he and Smith were just: “innocent prosecution witnesses and victims seeking justice against defendants, who are now facing criminal charges for document forgery and for defrauding offshore workers from 2012 to 2016 with bogus investments and non-existent registered properties. Not a grudge.“
He denied being a police volunteer and referring to the Nastya Rybka raid he answered: “A role? inanimate, uninformed, just standing there still in a photo?“
Of allegations that he himself dealt in steroids he said: “Verified contraband namely illegal hormones? No evidence exists of that unless from criminals with a grudge or agenda.” (He did not mention bank transfers with his telephone number on it but the complaints are indeed all criminals or people with reason to have grudges.)
‘Keep on underestimating’
As for specifically Carpenter and Pate’s allegations, Shoebridge stated that they were both criminals. ‘They pleaded guilty didn’t they?’
“Pate was simply a police snitch that would rat on competitive dealers and pharmacies to manipulate the market to his short lived advantage.”
“Keep on underestimating,” he said.
The raids on rival steroid dealers, however, continued after Boris and Pate left the team and while Shoebridge was still active. Pate admits setting up rivals in the business, but insists he did it together with Shoebridge, who was the instigator in at least two of the raids. He showed documentary evidence.
With reference to the documentary evidence, conversations and photos on the LINE App, Shoebridge replied that Pate ‘had made it up. Line profiles, screen captures’.
Shoebridge ceased answering questions when they specifically related to information provided by Jenny and the New Zealand and other foreign Lift team members. More specifically in the course of my enquiries he messaged: “I am going to make you the most hated man in ..……….! (name deleted is the nearest urban area in to the author).
- *Nana Entertainment Plaza is billed as the world biggest adult playground.
- ** Court cases in Thailand as a rule sit one day a month, rather than consecutively. Further, journalists are not allowed to take notes in court. The media can attend but it can be prohibitively expensive to cover a trial which can take years (21 is the record) As a result the media has to rely on the written judgements. These are based not on a verbatim record but the judge’s summary of what is said in court. All this allows the system to be manipulated. Criticism of judges carry the same penalties as criticism of the Thai king. Political groups campaign on law reform but they have so far failed to enact any legislation to change this process.
- *** Luke Cook has remained silent since his release. He has always maintained he was framed. It is not part of this investigation to comment on Cook’s guilt or innocence, only to show that the case against him was not valid and to note that major figures including Bagnato, and two significant ‘bikies’ were let go by the Thai authorities at the time of Schneider’s murder. And, of a group of ‘bikies, who were later deported from Thailand under a Thai police ‘Clipping the Wings of Angels’ operation, at least two have since returned.)
- **** Bartering for release is quite common in Thailand. It particularly affected Brits going through their rights of passage at ‘Full Moon Parties’ on Koh Phagnan, Southern Thailand. Where in the past youngsters found with cannabis could face demands over US$5-10,000. While the penalties were only US$100 dollar fines, they were threatened with months in jail awaiting trial, guilty or not.