Australians 'Shot German Tourists' in Thailand
Two Australian tattoo parlour owners in Thailand have been arrested and
charged with attempted murder after two German tourists were caught in
their crossfire. John Edward Cohen, 33, from NSW, and Adam Lewis Shea, 26,
from Tasmania, were arrested last night over the shooting on the holiday
island of Phuket, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed
Cohen, a long-time resident of the island, allegedly fired a .38 pistol at
an alleged Danish mafioso -- but instead accidentally hit the German
tourists at the popular beach town of Patong.
The Phuket Wan newspaper said Johann Baschenegger, 41, was admitted to
hospital in a serious condition.
Joseph Woerner, 71, was in a satisfactory condition.
Police said the shooting occurred around 7.45pm near the Baan Pirin Hotel
where the Germans were staying.
The Australians allegedly tried to "strike first" against the alleged
mafioso, named by police only as "Dannie."
"This is not a complicated case at all," Phuket Provincial Police Deputy
Commander Arun Kleawwatee told the Phuket Gazette.
"The suspects, afraid they would be attacked by a party that they were in
conflict with, decided to strike first."
Both parties were expected to show up in court yesterday to resolve a
dispute about a rented motorcycle worth about AUD$9500.
But Dannie failed to show.
"I was afraid he would shoot me since he did not show up at court. So me
and my friend decided to make a move first," Cohen reportedly told police
He also claimed Dannie sent a group of mafia men to Cohen's Phuket home.
CCTV footage from last night shows Cohen and Shea walking into various
hotels along the street and asking the receptionist at each hotel for
"That's when they spotted Dannie leaving the hotel on a motorbike," the
police spokesman was quoted as saying.
Both of them ran out of the hotel and Cohen opened fire with his handgun,
missing Dannie and hitting the two German tourists, he said.
The Australians allegedly fled after the shooting but were tracked down to
a local bar.
Both suspects have been charged with attempted murder and illegal
possession of a firearm.
They are also reported to have links with a motorcycle club known as the
Lawyers were trying to have the men released on bail.
Officials said the Australian men were receiving consular assistance.
Police are still searching for Dannie.