Another taxi incident goes viral in Phuket as tension between online app taxis and regular taxis appears to increase

Kamala –

The driving licenses of two taxi drivers have been suspended after what relevant officials are calling a “dispute” in Kamala between a traditional “queue” taxi and a taxi driver for an online application.

The Phuket Provincial Police Chief Major General Sermpan Sirikong told the Phuket Express, “This story has gone viral in social media earlier this week. A group of local taxi drivers were arguing and fighting with a female taxi driver who worked via an application.”

“Both drivers were later called to meet with the Phuket Land Transport Office officers and police. One taxi driver, Ms. Naruemon, was fined 2,000 baht for using an unlicensed application. The application she used can only be serviced in certain areas of Phuket but not for Kamala and not this particular venue.” The police chief explained.

“Her driving license is being suspended for 30 days. As for the local taxi driver, Mr. Wilart, his driving license is being suspended 30 days too. Mr. Wilart agreed to pay 5,000 baht for the damage of Ms. Naruemon’s car that he admitted to doing.” The chief stated.

The incident was at a popular nightspot in Kamala, notes The Phuket Express, and reportedly took place after a customer felt the taxi drivers working at the venue in a queue were too expensive, reportedly 400 baht. The customer called a Grab driver who responded to the call.

However, shortly after picking up the customer and while performing a U-turn, Mr. Wilart and several friends, who were not charged, blocked Ms. Naruemon from leaving the venue with a customer and attacked her vehicle, causing dents and scratches. Mr. Wilart accused Ms. Naruemon of stealing customers and breaking the rules for the area.

According to Phuket Police, however, the venue and area is clearly marked as not being a licensed area for application drivers like Bolt or Grab due to what they claim is security reasons. This “reason”, however, has been criticized heavily on social media, with many netizens claiming it’s about contracts, individual agreements, and money and not security of the customer.

Social media hotly debated the issue as these taxi incidents continue to take place in Phuket, with another recent issue taking place at the airport not long ago as seen by clicking here.

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Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than three years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.