A group of minivan drivers stationed at Phuket’s Rassada Pier forced a lone female traveller out of a minivan because she had booked it through a ride-hailing app. The Phuket Express reports that the woman had been picked up at the pier by a legally-operating minivan, which had the required yellow licence plates.
However, a group of around 5 or 6 men (presumably taxi drivers) surrounded the minivan and told her driver that he did not have the right to pick passengers up at the port. They then told the woman she needed to get out and take her suitcase outside of the pier area if she wanted to book her transport through an app.
Phuket’s taxi drivers operate under a cabal that lords over the island’s public transport industry, often using bullying tactics, and sometimes violence, to protect their closed industry. The Phuket Airport is a particularly bad example of the local taxi mafia running the airport’s transportation services.
According to the report, the incident took place on Saturday, June 3, and went viral on social media after the driver in question posted about his experience. He says he tried to reason with the men and ask them to make an exception, given that the woman was already in his vehicle. The men refused and a heated argument developed, in which the woman was forced to get out of the minivan she had booked.
Eventually, another man, described in the report as the “chief” arrived and allowed the driver to leave with the woman. The driver has now urged police to take action against the men involved, who have not been named by the authorities.
SOURCE: The Phuket Express