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Phuket Grab driver threatened by machete-wielding man

PHOTO: Facebook/ศูนย์ข้อมูลภูเก็ต Phuket Info Center

A Phuket Grab driver has been threatened by a man carrying a machete, who told him he couldn’t park in the area. The incident occurred at Nai Thon Beach, in the sub-district of Sakhu, according to a Phuket News report.

It’s understood the man who threatened the driver told him the area where he’d parked was reserved for local taxis. The incident was somehow captured on video and then posted online, quickly going viral.

Outraged netizens were quick to jump to conclusions, assuming the man with the machete was a taxi driver. There have been numerous altercations between Phuket’s “traditional” taxi drivers and those working through ride-hailing apps such as Grab.

This time however, the alleged perpetrator was a fisherman, according to Salaan Tantisasankul, chief of Sakhu Police. He says the Grab driver is 28 year old Phrompitak Kongyod of Moo 6, Sakhu, who visited the station to report the incident.

PHOTO: Facebook/ศูนย์ข้อมูลภูเก็ต Phuket Info Center

Mr Phrompitak says he parked his car near the beach and was then approached by a man, named by police as 52 year old Santi Raiwalthipkul, of Moo 4, Sakhu. The Grab driver says Santi proceeded to tell him he could not park in that area as it was reserved for local taxi drivers.

The men then began to argue and it’s alleged that Santi grabbed a machete from his motorbike sidecar and warned Phrompitak that he should leave.

The Phuket News reports that both men were questioned by Sakhu Police yesterday, July 11. Santi has confirmed to officers that he is not a taxi driver and has no connection to taxis. He says he had the machete because he uses it during his work as a fisherman.

Salaan says Santi has been charged with threatening others with a weapon.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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