FOUR members of the notorious Hells Angels biker gang have been arrested in Thailand, Tourist Police said on Thursday, bringing the authorities closer to solving the murder and secret burial of an Australian citizen in the kingdom two years ago.
Thai police said the three Australians and a Canadian are accused of drug crimes, violence and posing a threat to society.
The four were arrested on Wednesday in Pattaya, a major tourist resort with a reputation as a hub for foreign gangs, drug dealing and the sex industry.
Piyapong Ensarn of the Pattaya Tourist Police told Reuters that two of the accused gang members would be deported and the two others would be charged with drug offences.
“Traces of cocaine were found on them,” he said.
Reuters was unable to contact either the accused or their lawyers for comment. Pattaya is 100km (60 miles) southeast of the Thai capital, Bangkok.
Police said they were still looking for three Australians believed to be members of the gang. A British member of the gang had fled the country before he could be arrested, Piyapong said.
The gang made headlines in 2015 when one of its members was murdered by an Australian man, who was sentenced to death in February for the killing.
This ain't yer daddy's #HellsAngels – 3 #Australians and 1 #Canadian arrested in #Thailand living #TheLifeOfRiley off of #IllegalActivities ; what happened to the #RoadWarriors ? https://t.co/vEFBLtW48h
— Radio Far Side (@RadioFarSide) December 7, 2017
While the nature of the charges on the four suspects was unclear, tourist police acting deputy commissioner Pol Maj Gen Surachet Hakpal said the men disguised themselves as tourists and “threatened national security”.
“They were involved in extortion, money laundering, illicit drugs and human trafficking,” he told the Bangkok Post, adding they were the same group of people involved in the murder.
“These people entered Thailand, married Thai women, were without regular jobs, but had luxury houses and cars and spent lavishly.”
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Surachet was referring to the violent killing and burial of alleged Hells Angels drug kingpin Wayne Schneider in 2015.
Schneider was reportedly abducted by five men, four of whom wore balaclavas before his naked and mutilated body was found in a grave a short drive from the Pattaya villa.
Surachet said a raid mounted by the police saw the seizure of guns, ammunition, knives, an Audi sports car and a Ford GT 315 car.
The acting deputy commissioner said authorities have revoked the visas of eight foreigners tied to the gang. In total, the police were on the lookout for another four men; one has fled the country while the remaining three were in Bangkok.
Additional reporting by Reuters