Tuk-tuk driver punches Australian in face over fare

PHUKET: A tuk-tuk driver has confessed to punching an Australian national in the face after an argument about the price of a ride yesterday evening.

“Mr Sipeng, 20, told us that he was punched by the tuk-tuk driver after he got into an altercation with him about the price of the ride from Sugar Palm Residence Condominium, where he lives, to Central Festival,” said Wichit Police Superintendent Kittipong Klaikaew.

According to Mr Sipeng, the driver told him that the ride would only cost him and his friend 20 baht each, said Lt Col Kittipong.

“However, when Mr Sipeng and his companion arrived at Central Festival the tuk-tuk driver – who we now know as 42-year-old Chinrat Kaewsom – told Mr Sipeng that the fare was not 20 baht each, but 200 baht,” Col Kittipong said.

“During the argument, Mr Chinrat punched Mr Sipeng in the face – busting his lip and bloodying his nose.”

While police were trying to track down Mr Chinrat, he turned up at Wichit Police Station and confessed to the attack.

“We consider this a serious incident, as this kind of altercation gives Phuket a bad name and is very harmful to tourism,” Col Kittipong said.

Mr Chinrat was arraigned this morning and charged with causing bodily harm. He was released on bail.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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