On 8 October 2022, South African Ashley Oosthuizen was arrested after a sting operation by Thailand police. She was immediately charged with drug charges and initially received the death penalty, but upon appeal, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment instead.
According to her boyfriend, Ashley started working at his restaurant when a package was delivered and she had to sign for it. The package contained MDMA and led to her arrest.
Ashley’s “boyfriend” broke his silence after two years
Originally from George, 22-year-old Ashley moved to Thailand after getting a teaching opportunity on the island of Koh Samui after finishing matric in 2018.
There, she met a 32-year-old American teacher, who soon became her boyfriend. And more recently, he has stepped forward and said that Ashley was arrested because of his alleged drug deals.
The boyfriend, who is believed to be in the US, reached out to the George Herald via Facebook and released a twelve-page autobiography-like statement. And when a journalist from the Herald asked him why he didn’t go back to Thailand and surrender himself, he bizarrely replied:
“Because accepting a life sentence for importing harmless MDMA for consenting adults after governments just forcibly vaccinated [millions] against their will with experimental cocktails would be bowing to tyrants. I do not bow to tyrants, I kill them.
“Why don’t you ask Koh Samui police why they are keeping an innocent woman locked up regardless you [dumb] b*tch?”
According to the boyfriend, he couldn’t raise awareness about Ashley’s wrongful imprisonment until he “had his affairs in order”.
“Had I come sooner, no one would listen. Now that I have websites, a business, a book, and more – now Ashley can no longer be ignored. Ashley’s only crime was being my girlfriend,” he said.
The boyfriend offered her a job
On the freeashley.org website, Ashley’s boyfriend is referred to as “Tristan Nettles”. However, he reached out to the George Herald under the name “Triss Nepps”.
Ashley and Tristan met for the first time at a Halloween party in 2019. She was 19 and he was 32. And at first, his drug dealing business was centred on the school where he worked for.
She first worked as a kindergarten teacher but she eventually lost the job.
“After Ashley was laid off she tried working many odd jobs around the island as a nanny, tutor, and even as an aerial yoga instructor.
“However none of these positions afforded Ashley a work permit and without a work permit, she would eventually have to return back to South Africa,” the website reads.
Tristan then offered Ashley a job as manager of a new restaurant he was opening. This would enable her to get a new work permit so that she could still live on the island.
The package contained 250g of MDMA
During the time that Ashley was working at the restaurant, Tristan was reportedly attending medical school in Ukraine. However, this didn’t mean that his drug deals were over.
And so he started using the restaurant as the new shipping address for the drugs. And six weeks after he started shipping the drugs, Ashley was arrested while having no idea what was happening.
On the day of her arrest, there was a package being delivered on behalf of one of her boyfriend’s friends. And when she recognised his name, she signed for the package. Ten minutes later the police arrived and arrested her as the package allegedly contained 250g of MDMA.
When she was arrested, she was treated unfairly and had no legal representation or an interpreter.
“Then they took her away to some black-box interrogation dungeon somewhere on the island where she was interrogated under threat of harm and without a lawyer or interpreter present, and where she was then forced to sign documents that were written in Thai which later turned out to be a confession of her guilt,” the alleged letter from the boyfriend read.
It is further reported that her next appeal against the life imprisonment sentence can be expected to be heard sometime in 2022.
Read the boyfriend’s twelve-page statement here.