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Patong tuk-tuk driver charged for threatening tourist with sword

PHUKET: Police have ramped up the charges against the Patong tuk-tuk driver who threatened a tourist with a sword over a B400 fare early last Thursday morning (Aug 31) to now include threatening a person with a weapon.

tourism, patong, transport, violence, police,


The Phuket News

Monday 4 September 2017, 12:56PM


Col Tassanai declined to recognise the difference between the knife Pannawich presented to police as the weapon used in the incident and the sword he is plainly seen brandishing in the video clips that went viral. Image: Screengrab
Col Tassanai declined to recognise the difference between the knife Pannawich presented to police as the weapon used in the incident and the sword he is plainly seen brandishing in the video clips that went viral. Image: Screengrab

Tuk-tuk driver Pannawich Nakamin, 35, on Friday was fined B500 for carrying a weapon in a public place after police tracked him down after videos of the incident went viral on social media.

Pannawich told police that he picked up tourists at McDonald’s on Thaweewong Rd at 5am that morning and dropped them off at a hotel on Soi Kebsup. But when they refused to pay the B400 fare, he went and got a “knife” from his vehicle and threatened them. (See story here.)

However, police yesterday tracked down the tourist involved in the incident, 35-year-old Mohammad Sami Saad from Lebanon, to confirm he was threatened, Patong Police Chief Col Tassanai Orarigadech told The Phuket News today (Sept 4).

“After police found out more information from the victim and other witness, we decided to press Pannawich with another charge: using a weapon to threaten a person for benefit. He will now have to face this criminal charge in Phuket Provincial Court,” Col Tassanai said.

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“The tuk-tuk driver’s behaviour was unacceptable, and it damaged Phuket’s image among tourists. Tuk-tuk drivers must not do this to tourists,” he said.

However, Col Tassanai declined to recognise the difference between the knife Pannawich presented to police as the weapon used in the incident and the sword he is plainly seen brandishing in the video clips that went viral.

Of note, in Thai, the word “meet”, meaning knife, is often used for bladed instruments much longer than those referred in to in English language.

Also of note is that Section 267 of the Thai Criminal Code stipulates, “Whoever causes an official in the execution of their duty to make any false entry in the public or official document for the aims to be used as evidence, shall be imprisoned not more of three years or fined not more of six thousand Baht, or both.”

 

 

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BenPendejo | 04 September 2017 - 21:23:57

I'm still at a loss as to why the police, while they're manning their "Farang Ripoff Checkpoints", why they don't search every public transport vehicle for weapons.  Nearly all of them carry something...bat, golf club, knife, sword, gun...etc., and everyone knows it.  Even the taxi driver I use for guests is a really nice guy, but he still has a bat under his seat.  I guess the reason they never check is that the police just don't care... well, of course they don't care...right vs wrong is not a concern here.  Since the taxi/tuktuk/minivan mafia is the biggest scourge to Phuket, maybe the Army should step in and purge them of their weapons, and make it a serious offence to be caught with any sort of weapon in their vehicles.  After all, I thought the NCPO was going to get tough on those low-lifes.

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Discover Thainess | 04 September 2017 - 17:59:46

Should be an instant lifetime ban from any kind of work with tourists for this. 

PhuketNews, please can you ensure you follow up on the future of this story? As potential customers of a sword wielding tuktuk driver I would like to know whether I am likely to ever have the misfortune of using his services. 

On a separate note, McDs to Kepsub for 400 baht ?? I am not surprised the customer didn't want to be ripped off. Absolute disgrace! 

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Kurt | 04 September 2017 - 16:37:41

Funny RTP officer to decline to react on the fact that the criminal tuk tuk driver presents a different 'knife' than the sword he actually used.
Is the RTP now searching for the real 'knife'?

This tuk tuk driver proves to be mentally unfit to work in Phuket tourist sector. He commit crimes and lies.
Any tuk tuk, minivan, taxi driver should be banned for life after passenger life threatening situations like this. 

And, by the way where are a bunch the police officers who normally eager to go on the photo with a suspect?

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Sam hayman | 04 September 2017 - 13:18:17

Because he is Thai and the victim is a foreigner nothing will happen. Probably a B1,000 fine.

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