Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010
A Belfast man was yesterday sentenced to life imprisonment for drugs dealing in Thailand despite protests from his family that he had been framed.

Tommy McAuley, from Belfast's Shankhill Road, but an Irish passport holder, failed to convince judges at Pattaya Criminal Court that he was innocent.

Tommy McAuley after his arrested

Tommy McAuley after his arrested

McAuley, 49, had been accused of being a major drugs dealer by Thai police who arrested him last April in the resort of Pattaya, 100 miles east of Bangkok.

 Prior to his sentence his father Tommy Snr told the 'Belfast Telegraph: 'My son was stitched up. He borrowed the car from a friend to move a plasma television, he had no idea what was inside.

'He was in a hotel when the police came. They didn't find any drugs on him and the stuff that was in the car wasn't our Tommy's.

'The cops' story is riddled with holes. First of all they said they caught Tommy on the beach selling drugs, then they changed that and said he was arrested outside a supermarket selling drugs. Now they admit he was lifted at the hotel.

'The police also said they had seven witnesses after Tommy's arrest, but now they have only two because five of them have withdrawn their statements.

'The whole case stinks.'

Thai Police said that McAuley, sold drugs to teenagers in the resort city.

 Said Police Colonel Somnut Jutkate;'He dealt the drugs from his Toyota Fortuna (SUV).  After receiving information we put him under surveillance.'
He added that police used an informant, to buy a quantity of ice valued at 6000 Thai baht. (130 Euros  ?115)

Police said they found McAuley with 109 grams of crystal ice in his possession, in two packets, seven tabs of methamphetamine, 11.4 grams of cannabis, and 12 grams of opium.  He also had a set of scales, and 60 bags for packing his drugs in.

He also had on him 52,000 Thai baht (?1107/ Euros 1,124) as well as the 6,000 provided by the informant. McAuley will be transferred to Bangwang Prison, Bangkok to serve his sentence.

He is appealing the conviction.


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