Illegal Taxi Rider Arrested in Phuket After Social Media Questions His Nationality

Phuket –

An illegal Thai taxi rider was arrested in Phuket after online concerned citizens incorrectly believed he was an Indian. He was indeed a Thai national, however, did not have the proper documentation to be a legal taxi driver, said police.

The Phuket Land Transport Officer (PLTO) Chief Atcha Buajan told the Phuket Express that on Monday (June 10th) officials from the PLTO and the Phuket Tourist Police investigated after a social media issue came to their attention.

An unidentified person who shared the story online mentioned that ‘an Indian taxi rider was servicing passengers via a mobile taxi application.’ This man was seen many times in many areas in Phuket. This caused significant discussion online because this is a reserved occupation for Thais only and work permits are unavailable for foreigners for this job.

However, officials found that the rider with his ID card identified as Mr. Harim Preedasirikun is indeed a Thai national. Mr. Harim, however, was operating his personal motorbike as a taxi illegally regardless of being a Thai, say police. He did not have the proper license or documentation to be a taxi driver.

The Phuket Express notes that Thailand has a small but influential Indian/Thai community who have Indian heritage but are Thai nationals, especially in parts of Pattaya and Bangkok.

He is facing the charge of operating a personal motorbike as an illegal taxi (black plate). Mr. Harim was fined 2,000 baht and his personal driving license has been suspended for 90 days.

Goongnang Suksawat
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 four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some 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.