UK man suspected of drug dealing killed in police car chase as he fled a routine police enquiry. The foreigner who was married to a Thai woman with a young baby was formerly a business man
A British man suspected of selling illegal drugs was killed in a car crash at the end of June when he was being chased by Thai police. A chance encounter caused by his open car door late one Thursday evening lead to his tragic demise.
Thai policemen in Udon Thani were on regular patrol when they spotted something suspicious on the roadside late on a Thursday night: a Honda Civic with the door open. The driver, who appeared to the police be a foreigner, was behaving strangely too. So they approached the car to the apparent astonishment and alarm of the driver who immediately slammed the door shut and sped off. This left the police with no choice but to pursue him, according to Police Lt Col Pattanawong, Deputy Chief of Udon Thani’s Provincial Police Station. ‘We knew that something illegal was going on so we called for backup,’ he said.
UK man unearthed as a drug dealer after a fatal road smash
What began as a normal search turned into a high-speed chase that spanned six miles along the Highway 22 between Udon Thani and Sakhon Nakhon province in northeast Thailand. Though more police cars joined in the chase, the pursuit only ended when the suspect’s car smashed into the rear of an 18-wheel truck, mortally wounding him. He was later identified as a 60-year-old British citizen named David John Sewell. The foreigner was rushed into the hospital but was pronounced dead later. What was found in his car later provided police with an explanation to the UK man’s sudden reaction. He was a drug dealer.
Drugs found in car of model UK husband could have led to a death sentence
Mr. Sewell, formerly a businessman from the United Kingdom, had been living in Thailand for several years. He was married to a Thai woman identified only as Maen. The couple had been married for two years and had a baby daughter. In the view of people close to him, he was a model husband who would visit Buddhist temples and take care of his pet bulldog. In addition to his reputation is an impressive record of community service as he regularly distributed food to local poor people. He was also a social and easy-going fellow who usually went out with his friends at night, or at least that was what his wife thought. Mr. Sewell’s image and life, however, was shattered on the fateful night. After the horrific smash, the police discovered a large bag of cannabis, 80 methamphetamine pills, five bags of crystal meth and seven bags of cocaine in the badly damaged car. Under draconian Thai laws, drug trafficking is a very serious criminal offence. The quantity of drugs found in Mr. Sewell’s car could have resulted in him receiving a death penalty but more likely a severe prison sentence.
Thai police detain wife of foreigner in Udon Thani as they investigate his drug dealing activities
Sewell’s wife Maen denied any involvement in her husband’s drug dealing activity, but she was detained for further investigation after more marijuana was found hidden in the couple’s house during an intensive police search. It is reported that Mr. Sewel had been regularly selling drugs to other expats and pensioners in Thailand for several years. The numbers of foreigners living in the quiet, tranquil and rural Udon Thani province has rocketed in the last two decades as many women from the area have opted for foreign western husbands joing international dating sites such as ThaiCupid or ThaiLoveLines. The numbers foreign men opting to live in Thailand has prompted significant inward investment into the area.
Sewell’s story mirrored Walter White from the popular ‘Breaking bad’ TV show
Playing the part of a caring husband and father by day, John Sewell engaged in drug trafficking activity at night by using his now crumbled gray Honda Civic to distribute drugs to his customers when he was out with his ‘friends’. His role in the expat community somewhat resembles that of Walter White, who was the main protagonist of the classic TV series Breaking Bad. Walter White turns from a mild-mannered high school teacher to a ruthless drug trade kingpin. He is also killed, like Mr. Sewel, but in a skirmish with a rival gang.
Shocking and tragic end for UK man who risked everything
However this was not a movie or TV show it was the tragic story of an otherwise apparently good and decent man who took an appalling risk by getting involved with drugs in Thailand. It can only be surmised that the trade was to fund his lifestyle and desire to prolong his stay in Thailand, a common theme among other westerners who have succumbed to the temptation of dealing in drugs within Thailand. His desperate attempt at escape was probably made in the knowledge that the legal sanction, if caught, would perhaps have been just as fatal. Thailand executed its first inmate on June 18th and although he may have been given a very long prison sentence, it would have been just that to a 60 year old British man in a Thai jail. One of the saddest aspects of this tragic story is to consider the terror of his predicament before the horrific car smash as well as the plight of his infant daughter and Thai wife that he leaves behind.