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Phuket taxi driver being investigated over sexual harassment of passenger

PHOTO: Thailand Directory

A driver for the ride-hailing app, Bolt, is under investigation after a passenger accused him of using inappropriate language and questions. If found guilty, he could have his licence suspended for 180 days.

The Phuket News reports that the incident happened on Thursday, January 18, after a 20 year old student got into the taxi she’d ordered to take her from Paklok, north Phuket, to a student dormitory in Rassada.

According to the report, the taxi driver, named as Chuen Ochaphon, proceeded to question her in a manner that made her uncomfortable. The student claims the driver told her he was 45 years old and asked her if she had a boyfriend, adding that he wanted to “take care of” her.

He allegedly invited her back to his place, saying he would “sponsor” her with monthly payments of 5,000 baht. The conversation continued this way, prompting the student to ask him to stop the car as she wanted to get out. However, she says Chuen refused to stop the vehicle, which was travelling southbound along Thepkrasattri Road, in the sub-district of Koh Keaw.

The student says that on arrival at the student dormitory, Chuen tried to apologise, even following her to her room. He then got on his knees outside her room and left 300 baht outside her door before leaving.

The girl’s father has submitted a complaint to the Phuket Land Transport Office and through the Bolt app.

Kornpitak Atassuwan from the PLTO has confirmed the driver is being investigated on 3 counts: using inappropriate language with a passenger, which carries a fine of up to 5,000 baht, possibly using the wrong type of vehicle as a taxi, punishable by a fine of up to 2,000 baht, and behaving in a manner that “discredited the reputation of the country or the province”.

“If found guilty of any of the offences, the PLTO will take measures in accordance with the law. I would like to remind drivers providing taxi services that there are quite a lot of tourists during this period. Please take good care of the tourists, as the owner of the house would, in welcoming tourists to Phuket.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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