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Patong tuk-tuk driver charged for threatening tourist with sword

Police have ramped up the charges against the Patong tuk-tuk driver who threatened a tourist with a sword over a B400 fare early last Thursday morning (Aug 31) to now include threatening a person with a weapon.

Tuk-tuk driver Pannawich Nakamin, 35, on Friday was fined B500 for carrying a weapon in a public place after police tracked him down after videos of the incident went viral on social media.

Pannawich told police that he picked up tourists at McDonald’s on Thaweewong Rd at 5am that morning and dropped them off at a hotel on Soi Kebsup. But when they refused to pay the B400 fare, he went and got a “knife” from his vehicle and threatened them. (See story here.)

However, police yesterday tracked down the tourist involved in the incident, 35-year-old Mohammad Sami Saad from Lebanon, to confirm he was threatened, Patong Police Chief Col Tassanai Orarigadech told The Phuket News today (Sept 4).

“After police found out more information from the victim and other witness, we decided to press Pannawich with another charge: using a weapon to threaten a person for benefit. He will now have to face this criminal charge in Phuket Provincial Court,” Col Tassanai said.

“The tuk-tuk driver’s behaviour was unacceptable, and it damaged Phuket’s image among tourists. Tuk-tuk drivers must not do this to tourists,” he said.

However, Col Tassanai declined to recognise the difference between the knife Pannawich presented to police as the weapon used in the incident and the sword he is plainly seen brandishing in the video clips that went viral.

Of note, in Thai, the word “meet”, meaning knife, is often used for bladed instruments much longer than those referred in to in English language.

Also of note is that Section 267 of the Thai Criminal Code stipulates, “Whoever causes an official in the execution of their duty to make any false entry in the public or official document for the aims to be used as evidence, shall be imprisoned not more of three years or fined not more of six thousand Baht, or both.”

The Phuket News

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