UPDATE: The Grab driver is reported to have died in hospital, succumbing to his injuries after being shot. The incident has now turned into a murder investigation.
ORIGINAL STORY: A Grab driver is recovering in hospital after being seriously wounded in a shooting at the Koh Samui International Airport. The incident occurred in the taxi parking area and was reported to Bophut Police on Wednesday, September 13.
The injured driver, a 30 year old “Mr. Boy”, had already been taken to a hospital when police arrived. At the scene, three bullet cartridges were found. The suspected shooter, a 50 year old “Mr. Pao”, had already fled the scene.
According to witnesses, Mr. Pao is a minivan taxi driver, and he had a heated argument with Mr. Boy, who works as a Grab driver using the popular mobile ride-hailing app. The dispute arose when Pao requested Boy to pick up passengers outside the airport instead of inside. The argument was watched by many witnesses during a busy time at the airport.
Reportedly, Mr. Boy got very angry at Pao’s request, lost his temper, and physically assaulted Pao. In response, Mr. Pao became furious , grabbed a gun from his minivan, and started shooting at Mr. Boy. Mr. Boy attempted to flee but was unsuccessful.
The entire incident was captured by both witnesses and CCTV cameras and subsequently shared on social media, making it go viral. We’ve decided not to link the graphic shooting video here.
Police are still actively searching for Mr. Pao.
Incidents between mobile app taxi drivers and traditional taxi drivers have been on the rise across the country since the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. Recently Phuket Airport have relented are started allowing some apps, including Grab, to pick up passengers from the terminal, rather than forcing their customers to walk 200 metres, across the car park, to the main road outside of the airport premises.