Durian dispute turns violent after Chinese tourists accuse Thai vendor of selling fake fruit

Photo via KhaoSod

Things quickly turned sour when three Chinese tourists accused a Thai vendor of selling “fake durian” at a market in Chon Buri province, eastern Thailand, on Saturday.

Officers from Sattahip Police Station were called to de-escalate an altercation at Siwanat Nakorn 700 Rai Market on Saturday night which began when three Chinese tourists expressed discontent with the quality of their stinky, expensive fruit.

Police arrived to find a sea of marketgoers crowded around three Chinese tourists, two men and one woman, who were yelling, reports KhaoSod. The durian vendor, 65 year old Wichai Kaeketmanee, was waiting for the police to arrive.

Wichai said the tourist accused him of selling them two “fake” durians for 1,200 baht on May 13. They demanded a refund, said Wichai.

However, Wichai said it was impossible that he sold them any durian at all because he’d just started selling durians at the market for the first time that very day. If they did buy any bad durians, they must have bought it from someone else, he said.

Either way, if they claim that their durian was “fake,” they should return to the vendor with the fruit as soon as possible, not turn up empty-handed demanding a refund nearly a week later. He expects the tourists either want to eat durian for free or scam merchants out of money.

Then, one of the tourists grabbed Wichai’s durian weighing scales and whacked him over the head with it, he told the police.

In self-defence, Wichai drew his durian peeling knife from its sheath and launched towards the tourists in an attempt to drive them away from the stall.

Police took everyone to the station to find a solution. Wichai said he ended up giving the tourists 1,000 baht just to put an end to the drama.

Last week, a Vietnamese durian vendor working in the Bang Yai district of Nonthaburi province was arrested for tampering with his weighing scales to trick customers. The faulty scales added half a kilogramme, or 75 baht, to each sale.

Police arrested the Vietnamese vendor under suspicion of, “acting in a way to increase the weight of the scales used to trade and sell goods beyond the margin of error exploiting customers,” punishable by no more than seven years in prison, a fine of no more than 280,000 baht, or both.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.