SA Woman Convicted on Drug Charges in Thailand Has Life Sentence Slashed, Was Initially Handed Death Penalty

SA Woman Convicted on Drug Charges in Thailand Has Life Sentence Slashed, Was Initially Handed Death Penalty

  • Ashley Oosthuizen, a 23-year-old South African, was convicted of drug trafficking in 2021 after police raided the restaurant she worked at
  • Her former boyfriend was an alleged drug dealer who fled the country before Thai authorities could arrest him and returned to his home in the United States
  • She was initially handed the death penalty which was reduced to life in prison which was further reduced to 33 years after an appeal

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BANGKOK - Ashley Oosthuizen was convicted on drug charges in Thailand last year and sentenced to life in prison. The Koh Samui appeal court heard the 23-year-old's case and reduced her sentence to 33 years.

Oosthuizen was teaching English in the country before she started working at a restaurant that her boyfriend owned. He was an alleged drug dealer, leading to Oosthuizen's arrest when police raided the restaurant.

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Ashley Oosthuizen
Ashley Oosthuizen's life sentence has been commuted to 33 years for drug trafficking. She maintains that she is innocent. Photo credit: Ashley Oosthuizen
Source: Facebook

She was arrested after signing for a package of contraband for her boyfriend he has since eluded the police who are still searching for him.

Oosthuizen was arrested in 2020 and the courts initially handed her the death penalty which was reduced to a life sentence. Lynn Blignaut, Oosthuizen's mother, hopes that her daughter will be acquitted according to SABC News.

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DIRCO is aware of Oosthuizen's plight

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) is providing Oosthuizen and her family with consular assistance.

A petition has been launched to gather support for Oosthuizen and her friends and family have taken to social media to raise awareness of her plight.

They claim that her former boyfriend, Tristan Nettles, is the real culprit who allegedly fled Thailand and returned to his home in America.

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Restaurant used to ship contraband

According to Yahoo News, Nettles has allegedly claimed that Oosthuizen was not involved. He had allegedly been shipping contraband in Thailand since September 2020 using his restaurant Hot in the Biscuit.

Oosthuizen has maintained her innocence and claimed that she had no idea what was in the packages she was signing for.

She had previously worked as an English teacher before Nettles offered her a position as a manager at the restaurant.

Hawks celebrating R400m drug bust after tip-off led to a stop-and-search

Earlier, Briefly News reported that in a joint operation, the Hawks, together with Crime Intelligence and Western Cape traffic officials, arrested three men for the possession of illegal substances valued at over R400 million.

The massive bust occurred on Friday, 5 August, after the Hawks received a tip-off about a truck transporting a large consignment of contraband. The truck was stopped on Jan smuts Avenue between Pinelands and Athlone in Cape Town, EWN reported.

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Source: Briefly News

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