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Australian man, Thai wife sentenced to death in Bangkok for drug smuggling

Australian man, Thai wife sentenced to death in Bangkok for drug smuggling

A Perth member of the notorious bikie group Hells Angels and his wife have been sentenced to death in Thailand for trying to smuggle half a tonne of crystal methamphetamine into Australia.

Luke Cook, 34, and his Thai wife Kanyarat Wechapitak, 40, were arrested at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport last December and charged in relation to a 2015 plot to smuggle an estimated $300 million of crystal meth – or ice – into Thailand and then on to Australia.

A Thai court has sentenced the couple to death, but that is expected to be commuted to life in prison, media reports on Wednesday said.

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson declined to comment specifically on Cook, but said the Australian government was providing consular assistance to an Australian in Thailand.

“Owing to our privacy obligations we will not provide further comment,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Cook is accused of coordinating the movement of the drugs from China to Thailand on board a yacht.

However the shipment was dumped off the southeastern Thai province of Chonburi after being spotted by Thai authorities, News Ltd reported.

About 50kg of the drug divided up into four sacks later washed ashore at Mae Ramphueng beach in Rayong province in June 2015.

Authorities in Thailand claimed that Cook was paid $US10 million by the Hells Angels to buy and store the drugs for later shipment to Australia.

As part of their investigation, Thai police confiscated assets including luxury cars.