Taxi-driver in Bangkok arrested after ripping off English tourist


BANGKOK – A Cab driver in Bangkok has been arrested after modifying his taxi meter to cheat a tourist into paying a fare of nearly Bt4,000 (US$130.00) for a trip from Suvarnabhumi Airport to the inner city area of Bangkok.

Cabbie Sawei Phutthisarn, 57, was arrested for modifying the taxi meter, which is punishable with a maximum fine of Bt2,000, and overcharging the set public transport fare, which is punishable with a maximum fine of Bt5,000.

Mr. Sawei’s permits to provide rides from Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports was revoked by the Airport Authority of Thailand, while his public transport driving licence was also suspended by the Department of Land Transport for three months.

James Alexander Loakes made a formal complaint to the Tourist Police that he believed he had been ripped off. When officers checked the taxi, it had a modified meter had been ‘turbo charged’ to overcharge passengers.

Suvarnabhumi Airport executive vice president and deputy general manager Kittipong Kittikachorn said the arrest of Sawei stemmed from a police complaint filed on June 19 by the British tourist James Alexander Loakes.

He said he was told by a Bangkok cabbie – later identified by police as Sawei – to pay a Bt3,985 fare for the ride from the airport to Khaosan Road.

Police discovery the tampered meter would increase the fare by a secret button on the gear shift. Sawei admitted he modified the meter himself.

If you want to complain to the Tourist Police contact 1155.


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