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Tourist police and the Department of Land Transport tracked down the tuk-tuk driver who ripped off three American tourists earlier this week. He had charged them 1,500 baht for a short hop.
He will be fined thousands of baht. He has apologized for damaging the image of the country. The tourists agreed a fee of 500 baht to go from the Coliseum near the Urupong intersection to the Century Park Hotel near Victory Monument. When they reached their destination the driver charged them 500 baht EACH. They paid the 1,500 baht but later a guide went to report the matter on their behalf and the story reached mainstream social media. The DLT initially said there was not much they could do but the tourist police, Nang Lerng cops and the DLT got involved behind the scenes. Driver Bunlert Jatsanam, 61, had fled to Roi-Et in Thailand’s north east amid the social media firestorm. Yesterday with tears welling up and raising his hands in a “wai” he told the Thai media that he was sorry to everyone. “I didn’t mean to damage the image of Thailand,” he said. “I just needed the money”. DLT official said he would face charges of having a suppressed licence plate, an out of date driving licence and overcharging. Fines for these are up to 2,000, 2,000 and 5,000 baht respectively. The US tourists expressed themselves happy with the outcome and wanted to leave it at that, said the police.