Australia

Body of abducted Australian biker found in Thailand

A New South Wales Police handout of Wayne Schneider Image copyright NSW Police
Image caption Handout shot of Wayne Schneider issued by NSW police. Mr Schneider was once on the state's most-wanted list.

The body of an Australian who was formerly a Hells Angels gang member has been found in Thailand.

Thai police said the body of Wayne Schneider, 37, was found in a grave not far from the beachside town of Pattaya.

Five masked men - none of them Thai - had taken Mr Schneider from his house and bundled him into a white pick-up truck on Monday, police told the BBC.

They believe Australian Antonio Bagnato was part of the gang and have issued a warrant for his arrest.

Maj Gen Amphol Buarubporn said police did not believe the killing was pre-meditated, as the grave appeared to have been hastily prepared.

Security guards at Mr Schneider's villa were quoted in local media as saying they were warned to stay away from the incident by a man with a gun.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Schneider's body was found not far from the Thai resort town of Pattaya, east of Bangkok.

Police were able to track the rented truck to a Chinese temple and followed tyre tracks into the jungle, where Mr Schneider's body was in a 2m-deep grave.

Maj Gen Buarubporn said the possibility the men were connected to the drug trade was among the motives being investigating.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued a statement saying it was "aware of reports that Thai authorities have located what is thought to be the grave of an Australian man earlier reported kidnapped".

"Due to our privacy obligations, we will not comment further."

Mr Schneider had a long criminal history - he was one of New South Wales' 10-most-wanted fugitives in 2006.

Agence France Presse reported that Mr Schneider had been living in Thailand for about one month.

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