A father has pleaded for authorities to save his son after he was given the death sentence in Thailand for trying to smuggle half a tonne of ice out of the country.
Perth man Luke Cook, 36, was charged with attempting to sneak 500 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine into Thailand and on to Australia in 2015.
Thai police said Cook was carrying out the plot on behalf of the Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang.
But his father Paul Cook, 62, says he was framed and has called on Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister and the Attorney General to get the punishment lifted.
‘My son is not guilty of the charges,’ Mr Cook told 9News.
‘My son is no Hells Angel, he has not ever been associated with a group like that.’
Mr Cook said his son’s last appeal against his sentence was scheduled for March 26, but he was abruptly pulled from his Chonburi jail cell and thrown before the court, robbing him of legal representation or embassy support.
The death sentence was upheld.
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’s Suvarnabhumi airport in December 2017 after they were informed on by Douglas Shoebridge.
Shoebridge, an international fugitive wanted by Thai authorities on human trafficking charges over a worldwide sex ring, claimed he was on the boat with Cook during the drug operation two years earlier.
Cook says the wanted man framed him because he would not lend him money and his lawyers state that the prosecution’s only evidence is Shoebridge’s testimony.
Police say Cook, who is originally from the Perth suburb of Duncraig, was spotted at the time by a Thai Navy vessel, causing him to panic and throw the cargo overboard, but they have never been able to produce any witnesses from the navy.
Two bags of methamphetamine totalling 50 kilograms washed ashore on Pattaya beach in June 2015, but there was no DNA on the items, or on the vessel, linking Cook to the parcels.
No other evidence has ever been recovered.
Paul Cook said, based on the findings, he does not understand how police have generated the ‘500 kilogram’ figure.
‘There’s no possession involved here, none whatsoever,’ he said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs says it’s providing consular assistance.
Prior to his arrest, the former FIFO caterer and his family lived in Pattaya, where he owned a hotel and bar.
Both Cook and his wife are waiting on death row with dates for their executions yet to be set, while their two young sons are in Perth with family.
Source : Daily Mail