When you go train in Thailand you meet people from all walks of life. This is great because you get to make new friends and experience other cultures, but you have to be careful because you never know who someone really is.
Antonio Bagnato is a 28 year old Australian Muay Thai and Kickboxing fighter that was sentenced to death in Thailand on February 7, 2017.
Bagnato had an amateur Muay Thai and Kickboxing career in Australia fighting under the name Tony Bang. He trained at Taipan Muay Thai Gym in Sydney while fighting as an amateur. He left Australia in 2014 to train full time in Thailand.
According to Australian police he left because he was wanted for questioning regarding a murder. In December of 2015 he was arrested for the murder of Hells Angels member Wayne Schneider in Pattaya.
The body of Schneider was discovered by using the GPS tracking in Bagnato’s rental. The GPS led them to a grave outside of Pattaya where the naked body of Schneider was found, his neck had been broken. Bagnato’s DNA was found at the crime scene.
Bagnato fled Thailand to Cambodia, but was arrested shortly after arriving.
Bagnato and Schneider were partners of a gym in Australia, but they were also drug dealers according to reports. Apparently that was the cause of their dispute, and what led to Bagnato committing the murder.
According to police reports, Schneider was abducted by five masked men from his Villa in Pattaya and killed. Two other people were sentenced along with Bagnato.
22-year old American, Tyler Gerard, was sentenced to three years, but then reduced to two because he helped with the investigation.
Australian, Luke Hunt, was sentenced to three years, which was suspended to two after pleading guilty. He was arrested for driving Bagnato to Cambodia.
Bagnato can try to receive a royal pardon for his conviction, although that seems unlikely. All inmates on death row are housed at Bang Kwang Central Prison. The official method of execution in Thialand is lethal injection.
You never know who someone really is until you get to know them. Even then you still might not know who they really are. Be careful next time you are out training in Thailand or any other foreign country. Meeting someone like this doesn’t seem likely, but don’t take any chances.