Renewed calls for justice for Koh Samui expat incarcerated on drug charges

Facebook: Ashley Oosthuizen

Calls for justice have been renewed for an expat who was arrested on Koh Samui and now sits in Thai jail for drug charges. The young South African woman, Ashley Oosthuizen, was arrested after she reportedly accepted a package from a delivery person that contained MDMA.

In a screenshot leaked online, the Koh Samui Provincial Court sentenced her to the death penalty, which was then reduced to life in prison. The Thaiger has reached out to Thailand’s Court of Justice press office to confirm the sentencing, but there has been no response.

A website calling for justice for Ashley went live, showing leaked documents, text messages and photos, accusing a man and his friends of being the ones behind the illegal drug trade. The website accuses an American expat, who they say worked as a high school science teacher on the island, as being an “international dark web drug dealer” using Bitcoin to make the sales and importing drugs to the school’s main office.

Ashley, who is in her early 20s, worked as a kindergarten teacher at another school on the island, but was laid off and it was difficult to find a full-time job offering a work permit. The site says the American expat offered her a job as a manager at a new breakfast and brunch restaurant and would secure her with a valid work permit.

The website outlines the American expat’s alleged background in the drug trade, claiming he had been importing MDMA to Thailand for years. They claim the drugs were sent to the school and later to the restaurant Ashley managed.

A number of people have been calling for Ashley’s release. In October 2020, a GoFundMe page raised nearly US$3,000 to help get her out of Thai jail.

Crime News

Caitlin Ashworth

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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