A taxi driver has been fined for being rude to a male foreign passenger after a video clip featuring the short but aggressive conversation went viral online and drew heavy criticism.
Thongkham Srakaew, 50, was on Wednesday taken to the Tourist Police Divison 1’s sub-division 3 at Suvarnabhumi airport for questioning about the incident.
The foreign passenger, who could speak Thai, posted a clip on @EasyEnglishThai2017 Facebook page, showing what happened inside the taxi he took from Suvarnabhumi airport to his residence in Muang Thong Thani on Tuesday.
He said the taxi driver used Thai words, calling him “farang khee nok’’ (roughly translated as scruffy foreigner), ‘’khee nieow’’ (stingy) and “ngee-ngao” (foolish), and asked him to leave his cab.
The insults flowed after the taxi driver demanded a fare of 500 baht for the trip, but the passenger asked him to turn on the meter.
The driver then asked for 300 baht for expressway fees, but the passenger knew the amount was too high. He then gave the driver 200 baht for tolls.
Upon reaching the destination, the meter showed a fare of 375 baht, plus an additional 50 baht airport service fee - a total of 425 baht. The passenger handed over a 500-baht banknote, and the driver refused to return the change. The passenger then asked for 75 baht, but was met with rude insults.
Suvarnabhumi airport deputy general manger Kittipong Kittikachorn and Pol Col Amnart Chomchai, superintendent of the Tourist Police Division’s sub-division 3, and a senior official from the Land Transport Department jointly interrogated the driver about the incident.
Thongkham admitted he used impolite words to the passenger. However, he claimed only part of video clip was true, and that some content was added.
Sukree Jaruphum, director of the Land Transport Department’s inspection division, imposed a maximum fine of 1,000 baht on the driver for using impolite words. He will face additional charges if an inquiry finds him guilty of another offence.
clip by @EasyEnglishThai2017 Facebook page.