The body of an almost famous, Australian Hells Angel named Wayne Rodney Schneider was discovered in a jungle grave near Pattaya, Thailand early Tuesday morning.
Pattaya is a resort city on the Gulf of Thailand about 90 miles south of Bangkok that caters to Thai families and Western sex tourists.
The Bangkok Post reported that Schneider had only been living in Pattaya for a month, in a luxury home he rented for about $1,000 a month and shared with sometimes Comancheros president Amad “Jay’’ Malkoun. Malkoun, who is of Lebanese descent and holds an Australian passport, left Australia for Dubai in 2013. Newspapers in Australia have reported that since leaving the country, Malkoun has established Comancheros chapters in Spain, Bosnia and Russia and that he has been involved in major real estate deals in Melbourne.
The Post reported that Schneider, Malkoun and another Australian went out drinking Sunday night.
Beaten And Kidnapped
Two security guards at the home told Thai police they heard Schneider cry for help early Monday and that they saw him being beaten by five Western men wearing black face masks. The guards retreated when the assailants threatened them with a pistol. The burglars then carried off Schneider in a white truck. Malkoun told police he slept through the assault and kidnapping.
Police have arrested a 21-year-old American, identified by the Post as Tyler Joseph Fulton Sheen Gerard, on suspicion of murdering Schneider. Gerard was arrested as he tried to cross the Thai border into Cambodia. Pattaya police have also issued an arrest warrant for an Autralian named Antonio Bagnato. Bagnato owns a health club with Schneider in Sydney. Earlier today, Thai police arrested Bagnato’s Thai wife and accused her of renting the truck used in Schneider’s kidnappiung.
Schneider had several well publicized encounters with Australian police. He was listed as a “most wanted” fugitive from justice in 2007 after being accused of shooting a nightclub bouncer in the knee. He was eventually acquitted of that charge. He was accused of trafficking “large quantities” of a GHB-like bodybuilding drug called 1,4-Butanediol in 2009. And that same year Sydney police arrested him when they found $200,000 in betting chips from a local casino in his car. Police claimed the chips were proceeds from an unspecified illegal enterprise. Schneider said he had a lucky night at the tables.
His luck ran out this week.