Phuket taxi drivers accused of threatening Grab driver

A fresh police complaint has been filed against a group of taxi drivers in Soi Cherng Talay 14, close to the Maya Beach Club, in Phuket. The drivers stand accused of intimidating a legally operating Grab taxi driver who was stationed to pick up passengers from the club.

The complaint was lodged by 42 year old Jakkree Thummee, a resident of Bangkok, on Saturday, February 17. He met with Police Lieutenant Colonel Kittiphong Noupeng of the Cherng Talay Police around 8pm to formally present his grievance.

Jakkree recounted that after dropping off passengers in Cherng Talay, he awaited a new fare request via the Grab app. At approximately 2.30am, he received a request to pick up passengers from the Maya Beach Club. Upon arrival, he discovered his passengers were still inside the club. Consequently, he parked and waited for their exit.

His vehicle is a fully legal taxi, distinguishable by its green licence plates and the requisite stickers from the Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO). As a green plate taxi driver, however, his vehicle does not display the additional stickers required by the PLTO to identify it as a legally registered taxi app vehicle.

The PLTO has not clarified whether legally registered green-plate taxis utilising taxi apps for their services should display both sets of stickers. This has led to a prevailing assumption that such taxi vehicles are mutually exclusive.

While Jakkree was waiting in his taxi, a tuk tuk pulled up, blocking his path, and a group of four men approached his vehicle. One of the men, described as being particularly large, knocked on the driver’s window. The man threatened Jakkree and invited him to “step outside and clear things up.”

Phuket taxi drivers accused of threatening Grab driver | News by Thaiger
Picture courtesy of Phuket News

Fearing for his safety as the men continued to threaten him, Jakkree called the emergency number 191 to report the incident. By the time the police arrived, however, the group had dispersed and fled the scene.

Although shaken by the encounter, Jakkree took some time to reflect on the incident before deciding to file a formal complaint with the police. The police have confirmed acceptance of the case and are in the process of investigating the incident, reported Phuket News.

This incident, unfortunately, is not isolated. In December, a legal Grab taxi driver was assaulted by a group of taxi queue drivers near the front of the Maya Beach Club.

Phuket taxi drivers accused of threatening Grab driver | News by Thaiger
Picture courtesy of Phuket News

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