Connect with us

Phuket

Runaway driver leaves visa runners stranded, swipes more than B37,000

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

A ROUTINE visa run to Penang late last month hit a speed bump at the Malaysian border when visa runners returned to the van from the immigration checkpoint to find their driver had absconded.

It had been business as usual for the passengers until they reached the border checkpoint in Sadao on January 20.

“This time was the same as always. We had one driver from Phuket to the border of Malaysia, but we changed drivers once we arrived at Sadao,” explained Klaus Klaeden, 47.

After crossing the Thai-Malay border, the KBV passengers left the van and walked through the Malaysian immigration building so officers could check and stamp their passports, Mr Klaeden said.

“When we exited the building, we found our van waiting with the engine still running,” he said.

“The driver wasn’t there, so we assumed he was in the restroom. It was early, about 6am, so after a few minutes everyone fell asleep.”

One of the passengers woke about 30 minutes later to find the driver still missing and the van still running. He woke the other passengers, including Mr Klaeden, and the group began to search for the driver.

After scouring the grounds and questioning border police, the visa runners concluded that their driver had gone and taken all of the money collected for the trip.

Mr Klaeden estimates that about 37,000 baht was stolen and four travel hours were wasted during the ordeal.

The passengers contacted KBV and the company sent a new Malaysian driver to pick them up and take them to their hotel. They arrived in Penang at 12:30pm rather than the standard 8:30am, but still made it to immigration in time to file their visa applications, ensuring no further delays.

The owner of the KBV visa run company said the driver was later arrested by the Malaysian Police and that the stolen money was returned. However, she declined to name the driver or the company he worked for.

Despite the rare circumstances surrounding this visa run, the owner said she believes the company accomplished its overall mission by completing the visa run on time for its customers.

When asked his initial reaction to the situation, Mr Klaeden said, “I was laughing. I could not believe that this was happening. This was my fourth trip with KBV and all of them have gone well.”

The owner said she understands how important these trips are for foreigners staying in Thailand.

“I would like to apologize to our valued customers for any inconvenience caused by this trip. This is the first time ever that we have encountered such a situation.”

Additional reporting by Saran Mitrarat

— Mauri Grant

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Tourism1 hour ago

Refinements to the Sandbox as the countdown continues to Thailand’s reopening

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Sunday: 3,682 new infections and 20 covid-related deaths

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Dole pineapple factory has 34 new Covid-19 cases, 413 total

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Chinese Sinovac vaccine debuts in Singapore to high demand

Drugs16 hours ago

Drug smuggler caught in Kalasin with 300 kg of marijuana

Politics17 hours ago

Amendment to reform Constitution rejected by Parliament

Medical18 hours ago

Gender Health Clinic opens in Bangkok for transgender needs

Coronavirus (Covid-19)20 hours ago

30 million baht added to vaccine side effects compensation fund

Coronavirus (Covid-19)21 hours ago

Plan for 16-week gap between AstraZeneca vaccines dropped

Coronavirus (Covid-19)22 hours ago

CCSA: 120 day reopening will proceed with conditions

Tourism23 hours ago

Sandbox latest, CCSA says all regions reopening must reach 70% local vaccination

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 3,667 new infections and 32 deaths

Politics1 day ago

Thamanat elected to role of head ‘fixer’ in Palang Pracharat party

Expats1 day ago

List: China has over 50% of all foreign-owned condos in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago

Government plans 10 million vaccines for July

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending