A suspected ringleader of the cocaine smuggling plot that landed British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford on Death Row was yesterday toasting his freedom on a golfing holiday in Thailand after being released early from jail.
The Mail on Sunday tracked down wealthy convict Paul Beales to an expat pal’s house in Bangkok where he has been enjoying nights on the town since walking free on Monday from Bali’s notorious Kerobokan prison after serving just three-and- a-half years.
Looking lean and tanned after shedding more than two stone in jail, the former Milton Keynes property developer refused to comment as he rode a mountain bike near his friend’s home while preparing to leave the Thai capital for a golf resort. ‘I’ve got nothing to say to you,’ he grinned.
He has told friends he has no plans to return to England and instead wants to go back to Bali where he has an Indonesian wife and children aged 11 and nine, even though drug offenders are usually banned from ever returning.
Beales faced a possible death sentence for drug trafficking after he was snared in a sting set up by police after drugs mule Sandiford was caught at Bali airport in May 2012 carrying 10.5lb of cocaine worth £1.5million.
|Lindsay Sandiford in 2012|
But the trafficking case against him mysteriously collapsed amid rumours of bribes to officials, and he was sentenced instead to four years’ jail for possession of cannabis found in a police search of his villa in Bali, where he has lived for 15 years.
Beales, 43, who protested his innocence and claims he was set up by Sandiford, was allowed a meeting with his wife and children after his release before being deported.
His lawyer is understood to be in talks with officials asking to allow him to return to Bali. ‘Until then he’ll probably stay in Thailand and enjoy the sunshine and his freedom,’ a friend said.
Sandiford, 59, received the death penalty and could face the firing squad as early as January depending on the outcome of her final appeal due to be heard before the end of the year.
Source: Mail Online, Simon Parry, October 17, 2015
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