Australasian biker news

Home Rides  Events Tech Links

  • Body of kidnapped Australian Hells Angel gang member Wayne Schneider found in Thailand
    Hells Angel member Wayne Rodney Schneider, right, outside court in Sydney, in 2008.

    Hells Angel member Wayne Rodney Schneider, right, outside court in Sydney, in 2008.

    Hells Angel member Wayne Rodney Schneider, right, outside court in Sydney, in 2008.
    Australian bikie Wayne Rodney Schneider has been abducted and murdered, with his remains found buried a short drive from the Thai villa he was taken from.

    The body of the 38-year-old former NSW Hells Angel was found in a two-metre-deep grave in roadside bushes near a Chinese temple in Sattahip district of Chonburi province, Thai police said.

    Thai authorities have issued a warrant for the arrest of Antonio Bagnato, 26, on charges of conspiring to assault and detain Schneider, who was his partner in a Sydney fitness centre, Thai media reports.

    Thai police search for the remains of Wayne Schneider.
    Thai police search for the remains of Wayne Schneider.

    Police suspect Bagnato of being among the kidnappers who all appeared to be foreigners.

    Bagnato is also a former motor cycle gang member from Sydney who was renting a house in Pattaya.

    It has been revealed that former Victorian Comanchero president, Amad "Jay" Malkoun, once considered the state's most powerful bikie boss, was interviewed by Thai authorities as a witness to the abduction on Monday.

    Attempts to contact Malkoun were unsuccessful.

    Schneider, 38, was beaten bloody and unconscious at his rented villa in the resort town of Pattaya and driven away in the back of a black Toyota Vigo pick-up truck about 5am, Bangkok time.

    Security guards told police they heard a cry for help and saw five men with scarves over their faces beating Schneider.


    Blood and bullet casings were found at the villa when police arrived, local media reported.

    Police said it was unlikely the body would have been found but for a GPS tracker that was fitted to a black Toyota pick-up truck that was used to take Schneider away from his house.

    The vehicle been rented from a business in Pattaya.

    Malkoun was quoted as saying he slept through the entire ordeal and only learnt Schneider was missing from the police.

    The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed that Australian Embassy officials were aware a body had been found.

    "The Australian Embassy in Bangkok is aware of reports that Thai authorities have located what is thought to be the grave of an Australian man earlier reported kidnapped," a spokeswoman said.

    Malkoun told the Bangkok Post he had been a guest in Schneider's villa since Saturday and met Bagnato at the villa. The three men had gone out drinking on Sunday but Malkoun went home early because he was feeling ill, the Post reported.

    Malkoun said he spoke to Schneider and the other man briefly when they returned to the house and continued their drinking.

    Police suspect Bagnato of being among the kidnappers, who all appeared to be foreigners.

    Thai immigration records show Bagnato has not left the country.


    Thai police and Australian law enforcement agencies have been investigating Australian motorcycle gang members in Thailand who are believed to have extensive business interests in the country.

    Thai police said they found paraphernalia for taking crystal methamphetamine inside the house Schneider had been sharing with other motorcycle gang members, according to reports in the Thai media.

    About a month ago, Schneider reportedly arrived at the villa and paid about $5000 to rent the villa for six months.

    Police said they have made contact with Schneider's Thai wife, who is in Dubai, which is also where Malkoun has spent most of the past two years.

    A source in Melbourne said Schneider was cashed up at the time of the abduction after recently returning to Thailand with the proceeds of a large drug trafficking operation in Europe.

    The source said Schneider's new bank balance was well known among Australian bikie gangs and that it was not the first time he had been stood over.

    Schneider was a convicted drug trafficker who had also been charged with obstructing the Australian Crime Commission, as he failed to give evidence during a coercive hearing.


    He had been a member of the Lone Wolf gang, and crossed to the Angels' Sydney chapter in acrimonious circumstances about 2008.

    A court heard in 2010 that he had a Hells Angel tattoo on one arm, which covered an earlier Lone Wolf tattoo, and a tattoo in Old English lettering which read "Corruption" on the other.

    Malkoun was the president of the Comanchero bikie gang in Melbourne when it was considered the state's most powerful, lucrative and dangerous.

    He left Australia in mid-2013 for Dubai, handing the state presidency of the Comanchero to Mick Murray.

    He remained state sergeant, or second-in-command, and intended to stay with his family in Dubai for less than six months.

    It is unclear if he has returned to Victoria, which he considers home, in the past two years. His extended family are understood to still be based in Melbourne.

    Police claim the Comancheros have gone from being the state's most powerful bikie gang to one that is struggling for members in the past year, as half their members – including Murray – have been arrested.

    That rise to prominence occurred largely under Malkoun, who became state president in 2009.

    Despite his vast reach in the underworld, including relationships with corrupt police and being the subject of at least two federal drug probes, Malkoun has been charged with only one crime in more than 25 years.

    In 1989, he was convicted, along with his brother Elie, of trafficking heroin, and was sentenced to a minimum of 16 years' jail. At the time, it was the largest heroin trafficking operation in Victorian history.

    Malkoun was recently spotted in Chechnya and was reported to have established a Comanchero chapter in Russia by recruiting heavily armed mercenaries.

    He was also reportedly in Singapore and Sydney, where he was rumoured to be eyeing real estate.

    Schneider spent 18 months on NSW's "most wanted" list over the shooting of a bouncer in 2007 although the charges were later dropped.

    It is not known how long he had been living in Pattaya, a popular destination for wanted Australians, crime gangs and sex tourists.

    - Fairfax Media Australia


  • BACK