Ashley Oosthuizen: Details about the George woman facing life imprisonment in Thailand

Ashley Oosthuizen: Details about the George woman facing life imprisonment in Thailand

Ashley Oosthuizen is a young South African lady from George town facing life imprisonment in Thailand for a crime she and those close to her claim that she did not commit. She was arrested in October 2020 by Thai police and sentenced to death on drug-related charges. The sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment after making an appeal.

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Ashley Oosthuizen
Ashley Oosthuizen left South Africa in March 2018 to start teaching in Thailand. Photo: @MrCow_man
Source: Twitter

Ashley Oosthuizen’s family and friends have maintained her innocence and hope justice will be attained soon. Her alleged boyfriend, who she met in Thailand and who is behind the crimes that led to her dilemma, recently came out to narrate the events that led to Ashley Oosthuizen’s Koh Samui’s arrest. Keep reading for the whole story.

Ashley Oosthuizen’s profile summary and bio

  • Full name: Ashley Oosthuizen
  • Year of birth: Around 2000
  • Age: 22 years in 2022
  • Place of birth: George, Western Cape, South Africa
  • Nationality: South African
  • Religion: Christianity
  • Gender: Female
  • Boyfriend: Tristan Nettles
  • Parents: Mother Lynn Blignaut
  • Education: Outeniqua High School
  • Sentence: Life imprisonment
  • Prison: Thai prison
  • Offence: Drug-related charges

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Ashley Oosthuizen’s age

Ashley Oosthuizen in Thailand
Ashley Oosthuizen did not know that her boyfriend had a criminal history. Photo: @MrCow_man
Source: Twitter

According to numerous media publications, the girl is 22 years old in 2022. She finished her high school education at Outeniqua High School and headed to Thailand a few months later, in March 2018. Ashley Oosthuizen’s family resides in George, Western Cape, South Africa.

Ashley Oosthuizen’s crimes

The young George woman was arrested by Thai authorities on Koh Samui Island on 8th October 2020. She was charged with drug-related crimes. A Thai court initially sentenced her to death, but her family appealed, and the sentence was reduced to life imprisonment (25 years). Ashley’s family and friends have maintained that she is innocent and continue to seek justice as they wait for the next appeal.

Ashley Oosthuizen’s boyfriend claims

A man called Tristan Nettles claiming to be Ashley’s boyfriend recently came forward to say that the girl was arrested because of his drug deals. He took to Facebook to reach out to George Herald with a lengthy message urging Thai authorities to free Ashley.

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In his lengthy statement, he narrates the events that led to his girlfriend’s arrest. But, when asked by the tabloid’s journalist why he did not return to Thailand and surrender, he said importing harmless MDMA to consenting adults is not a crime warranting a life sentence.

The man admitted to being a former international drug dealer with a long history of crime. At 11 years, he was allegedly charged with assault with a deadly weapon. He has been to court and jail on multiple occasions since he was 12.

He worked as a science teacher at Panyadee International School on Koh Samui Island from 2018 until the summer of 2020, but most of his money came from selling party drugs. A website set up to help free Ashley reveals that her then-boyfriend Tristan Nettles started using BTC to import party drugs through the school’s main office in 2018. He did business with a Russian math teacher at the same school.

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Ashley Oosthuizen's life sentence
Ashley Oosthuizen was initially sentenced to death before her sentence was reviewed to life imprisonment. Photo: @zimmuanebotha
Source: Twitter

What led to Ashley Oosthuizen’s arrest?

Shortly after matriculating, the bubbly and adventurous Ashley moved to Thailand in March 2018. She settled on Koh Samui Island, where she worked as a kindergarten teacher. While there, she met a 32-year-old American man working as a science teacher. She was 19 at the time, and the two later started dating.

Ashley later lost her teaching job, and her boyfriend offered her a job as a manager at his restaurant, Hot in the Biscuit. Working at the restaurant gave her a work permit to continue staying on Koh Samui Island. She helped in designing the business brand and started operations in January 2020.

On 8th October 2020, Oosthuizen received another person’s package from a delivery guy. A few minutes later, Thai authorities arrested her for being in possession of drugs. She was unaware that the package contained 250g of MDMA (ecstasy).

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At the time of her arrest, Oosthuizen’s boyfriend was allegedly attending medical school in Ukraine. He had stopped teaching during the summer of 2020. In August 2020, 50 grams of MDMA were discovered by Panyadee school's CEO, who called the police to accuse Tristan of importing drugs. Since he did not have another place to ship the drugs, he opted to use the restaurant with his friend’s help.

Her alleged boyfriend revealed to the George Herald publication that Ashley never knew he was a dark web drug trafficker and was not aware that drugs passed through the shop. It is believed he now lives in the United States after leaving Thailand and staying in Ukraine for a while.

Ashley Oosthuizen's pleas for help

Oosthuizen has remained incarcerated since her arrest. Her family, especially her mom Lynn Blignaut, is working hard to ensure that Ashley comes back to South Africa. Her friends are using social media to seek justice as she awaits the next appeal.

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The SA embassy in Thailand is yet to talk about the matter. However, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said it is aware of the matter and is working with the SA embassy in Bangkok, but it cannot interfere with the legal system of a foreign country.

Ashley Oosthuizen’s Thai prison experience is indeed saddening. Being given a death sentence in a foreign country without proper legal representation and for a crime she did not commit is not something she hoped to find in Thailand. Hopefully, justice will be served soon.

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