Father argues for the life of his son after being sentenced to death in Thailand for drug trafficking
Father argues for authorities to save his son’s life after being sentenced to death in Thailand for trying to smuggle half a ton of ice for the Hells Angels
- 34-year-old Luke Cook from Perth has been sentenced to death for drug trafficking
- Thai police say he was trying to sneak 500 kg of ice cream to Australia for a bikie gang
- His father Paul Cook, 62, believes he is framed and not treated fairly
- He urged the Australian authorities to save his son after losing his last appeal
A father pleaded for the authorities to save his son after getting the death penalty in Thailand for trying to smuggle half a ton of ice cream out of the country.
36-year-old Luke Cook from Perth was accused of trying to sneak into 500 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in 2015.
Thai police said Cook was executing the conspiracy on behalf of the gang of motorcycle gangs from Hells Angels.
But his father, Paul Cook, 62, says he has been framed and has called on Australia’s Foreign Minister and Attorney General to lift the sentence.
Paul Cook (photo), 62, has called on the Australian authorities to intervene to save his son from a death sentence in Thailand
“My son is not guilty of the charges,” Cook said 9News.
“My son is not a Hells Angel, he has never been associated with such a group.”
Cook said his son’s final appeal against his sentence was scheduled for March 26, but he was abruptly removed from his cell in Chonburi and thrown into court, deprived of legal representation or embassy support.
The death penalty was maintained.
His only option now is to appeal to the Thai king.
The father of two and his wife Kanyarat Wechapitak, 42, were arrested at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport in December 2017 after being informed by Douglas Shoebridge.
Shoebridge, an international fugitive sought by the Thai authorities for indictment of human trafficking over a worldwide sex ring, claimed to have been on the boat with Cook two years earlier.
Cook says the wanted man framed him because he would not lend him any money and his lawyers state that the only evidence of the prosecution is Shoebridge’s testimony.
Luke Cook, 36, and his wife Kanyarat Wechapitak, 42, (photo) were arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok in December 2017
Police say that Cook, originally from the Duncraig suburb of Perth, was noticed by a Thai Navy ship at the time, causing him to panic and throwing the cargo overboard, but they have never been able to produce witnesses to the Navy.
Two bags of methamphetamine, totaling 50 kilograms, washed up on Pattaya beach in June 2015, but there was no DNA on the items or the keg that Cook connected to the packages.
No other evidence has ever been found.
Paul Cook said on the basis of the findings that he does not understand how the police generated the ‘500 kilograms’ figure.
“This is not about possession, not at all,” he said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it provides consular assistance.
Prior to his arrest, the former FIFO caterer and his family lived in Pattaya, where he owned a hotel and a bar.
Both Cook and his wife wait in death row with dates on which their executions are yet to be determined, while their two young sons are with family in Perth.
Police say Cook is a member of the motorcycle gang of Hells Angels – a claim that his father strongly denies