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Thai police said today they are charging a key Australian suspect, 26-year-old Antonio Bagnato, with several counts for the murder of former Sydney Hells Angel bikie and underworld figure Wayne Schneider in Pattaya on November 30.
At a press conference held today at the Region 2 Provincial Police Command in Chonburi province and chaired by Royal Thai Police commissioner Pol Gen Chakthip Chaichinda, Mr Bagnato was brought to appear at the conference, along with two M16 assault rifles, a 9 mm automatic pistol, a .38 revolver, a number of cartridges, a safe, two tazers and a knuckle duster.
Mr Bagnato was arrested by Cambodian police but his extradition to Thailand to face the charge was not discussed at the conference.
Thai national police chief said the suspect conspired with four others in the kidnap of Schneider from Jomthien Park Villas housing estate and later killed and buried him near a cemetery at Wat Yanna Sanvararam temple in Sattahip.
At the conference he was said to be arrested by soldiers while hiding at Bang Sai area in Nonthaburi province.
The national police chief said the suspect will be detained under Article 44 and be tried in the Military Court for the possession of deadly weapons.
He said personal conflict might be the motive for the murder of Mr Schneider.
According to the Cambodian dailies last week, Cambodian police arrested Antonio Bagnato in a raid on the Cheap Hotel in Phnom Penh.
Cambodian police said they were coordinating with the Thai police to extradite him back to Thailand to face murder charge.
The victim, Wayne Rodney Schneider, was kidnapped by five masked men from his rented house in Bang Lamung district on November 30.
His body was found the next day in a roadside wooded area in Sattahip.
One 21-year old American, identified as Tyler Gerard, was arrested at a border crossing in Sa Kaew province as he tried to leave the country for Cambodia.
Gerard reportedly admitted to involving four other people in the abduction of Schneider.
Police are still looking for two other Australians and an American allegedly involved in Schneider’s killing.
All their identities have been known by the Thai police following information given by the arrested American Tyler Gerard.