Phuket taxi mob beats driver in broad daylight

PHUKET: A gang of taxi drivers encamped outside an upscale resort on Phuket’s west coast today beat a local driver with an iron bar before causing a reported 50,000 baht in damage to his car.

His tourist passengers were reportedly inside the vehicle at the time of the attack.

Preecha Choowong, 38, filed a complaint at Kamala Police Station this afternoon, after receiving treatment for his head wound at Patong Hospital.

Mr Preecha, a driver for the Kok Chang Safari elephant camp in Kata Noi, arrived at the Cape Sienna resort in Kamala at about 12:30pm to pick up Australian tourist Glenn Dawson.

About six drivers outside the resort pulled Mr Preecha from his Honda Civic and started to beat him.

One of the attackers hit him on the head with an iron bar.

The same iron bar was used to damage his car, smashing the windscreen and breaking a side mirror.

“Considering the state he [Preecha] was in when he arrived to file the complaint, we told him to go to Patong Hospital for treatment first, then come back and file his complaint,” said Kamala Police Duty Officer Anek Mongkol.

Lt Col Anek said his officers were now investigating the complaint in order to press charges for gang attack causing bodily and property damage.

The attack today comes just days after the Austrian Ambassador to Thailand laid bare a caution for Phuket authorities to start taking serious steps to resolve the continual, brutal antics of lawless drivers on the island.

If the renegade drivers could not be controlled, European embassies might be forced to issue a travel advisory warning tourists not to use tuk-tuks in Phuket, Ambassador Johannes Peterlik said.

That warning followed the beating of a German man, who days ago regained consciousness from a coma, and the recent beating of two Dutch tourists, who both received hospital treatment, in Patong.

— Atchaa Khamlo

Phuket News

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