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Major General Pekad promises an investigation to one tourist

Two Aussie Tourists Knifed: Patong Tuk-Tuk Thugs Accused of Attack

Saturday, February 26, 2011
TWO AUSTRALIANS are being treated in hospital for knife wounds after tuk-tuk thugs set upon a group of tourists on Phuket early today.

Phuket is a popular holiday destination for Australians - direct flights on Strategic from Melbourne and Brisbane began just this week - but the gang knifing is likely to bring to a head concerns about thuggish behavior by local ''mafia'' in Patong, a popular west coast destination.

One man was stabbed in the chest and beaten around the head, the other slashed on the right forearm as they and three friends fought back then fled.

''We were attacked by about 14 or 15 people,'' one of the group said today. ''It was one of the best holidays. Now it has turned into one of the worst.''

The five young men from the Sydney area of St George had stopped off about 4.30am for some roti pancakes as they walked back to their hotel from a nightclub in Patong.

One group of attackers arrived in a tuk-tuk, and others rushed to join in, a victim said.

''They came at us from behind, so we didn't have a chance until it was too late,'' the man said. The group, who prefer to remain anonymous, had been holidaying in Thailand since February 14 with seven female friends.

''We hadn't done anything to cause trouble,'' said one young man. ''We were just walking back from Seduction disco.''

The women flew home yesterday, and the five young men were staying on until Monday.

''There were two Melbourne men at the roti stall with us,'' the man said. ''It could be that they'd done something, and we got the blame.''

Excessive fares of tuk-tuks bring more complaints from tourists than any other issue, with jet-ski scams - which often involve Australian victims - a close second.

One of the knifed men was in the intensive care unit at Bangkok Hospital Phuket today as doctors awaited results of scans on his heavily bandaged head and the stab wound in his chest.

The other knifed man was expecting to be operated on later today. His right forearm is heavily bandaged.

Phuket's Police Commander Major General Pekad Tantipong and island Governor Tri Augkaradacha were expected to visit the pair in hospital later today to express their concern about the incident.

Three police officers from Patong took extensive statements this morning. The men were treated first at Patong Hospital then brought to Bangkok Hospital Phuket in Phuket City.

Just this week, Melbourne woman Helen Gothe was treated at the same hospital for wounds she suffered when elephants ran wild while on a trek through a national park north of Phuket. A Swiss woman was trampled to death in the incident.

Two Swiss survivors were also treated at the hospital for injuries. One remains an in-patient.

Several Australians have been accused of petty theft on Phuket since the 2009 theft of a beer mat from a Patong bar led to intervention by the Australian Government to ensure that Melbourne mother of three Annice Smoel could fly home quickly to her children.

The latest Australians accused of theft have not been so fortunate, spending time in jail and in one case incurring about $30,000 in extra expenses over a case that will probably in the end be settled in court with a fine of $30 or less.

In November Governor Tri told the new Australian Ambassador to Thailand, James Wise, that he would do all he could to make Phuket safer for Australians.
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Comments have been disabled for this article.


This is only going to get worse until someone takes a grip on the situation. I believe it is already worse than it seems, because a lot of over charging and violence is not reported/investigated.
Welcome to LOS, Land Of Sins.

Posted by Phuket Kop on February 26, 2011 14:43


I presume you mention this as an addendum to your article to "balance" that not all aussies are innocent victims, i.e. some of them have stolen, so others getting stabbed is karma? They deserve a stabbing?
"Several Australians have been accused of petty theft on Phuket since the 2009 theft of a beer mat from a Patong bar led to intervention by the Australian Government to ensure that Melbourne mother of three Annice Smoel could fly home quickly to her children.

The latest Australians accused of theft have not been so fortunate, spending time in jail and in one case incurring about $30,000 in extra expenses over a case that will probably in the end be settled in court with a fine of $30 or less. "

Posted by dan ryan on February 26, 2011 15:41


Very few if any of these mob beatings ever seem to result in any consequences of any kind. This sends a clear message to these thugs that you will not be punished if you hospitalise tourists.

It also sends a clear message to tourists.

Go somewhere else.

Posted by No Justice on February 26, 2011 16:45


What about the Security Cameras... Ask the Police about them.

Or don't they work?

These people (attackers) deserve to be humiliated in public when/if caught.

Posted by Tbs on February 26, 2011 18:04


Your right Phuket Kop. Last April I witnessed 2 young male foreigners get a pretty severe beat down by about 20 tuk tuk drivers right on Bangla Rd. The tuk tuk crew were literally running in from every direction like moths to a flame to get in a good sucker punch or kick before the police came and took the bloody tourists away without questioning a single Thai. Disgusting. I reported it to the media but was told the police and embassies had no record of the beating and since I didn't have video or pictures, it could not be substantiated.

Posted by ScubaBuddha on February 26, 2011 18:24

Editor Comment:

Your pseudonym is offensive to some readers. Please find something more suitable for use in Thailand.


This is now getting way out of hand bring in people with power from out with the Phuket area to sort this bunch of thugs out, enough of the kid glove not wishing to offend technique BECAUSE IT'S NOT WORKING IS IT. What will it take, dead tourists splashed all over the worlds press to put a end to this farce. Do the people that run Phuket not get it? this stuff is on the net now people read it and cancel holidays.

Posted by Steve on February 26, 2011 19:08


A disturbing story. People know who is responsible for the attack, yet it is unlikely that anyone will come forward. Fear and intimidation go hand and hand with the thugs of Patong. There are decent people on Phuket Thai and foreigner alike that are upset by this, but it is futile to speak up, or to become involved because the local authorities will not respond in an appropriate manner. This is what an atmosphere of uncontrolled corruption brings.

Posted by Discouraged from Patong on February 27, 2011 01:36


ScubaBuddha has had this nickname for many, many moons and now someone finds it offensive? Sh!( get a life.
The guy is well known in all circles of thai life and thai forums.
Stop being petty but keep reporting on the big issues facing Phuket and her tourist industry.Go SB we are with you.

Posted by GrahamM on February 27, 2011 07:44

Editor Comment:

We've had two complaints, the first one some time ago. Scuba***** changed his pseudonym once, then twice, then changed it back again. So clearly, he's not as concerned as you seem to be about the concept of alternatives. We have more Thai readers here than the other sites. I can see that it's potentially offensive to many people. Don't let me stop you from spending more time on the other sites, GrahamM.


The Tuk-Tuk operators have learned along the years that they can get away with just about everything and have been emboldened to a point where nothing will stop them.

They are clearly scared of nothing and nobody.

I agree with Steve, it's time the kid gloves come off and the law is laid down heavy on them.

If the local authorities fail to reign them in, as has been the case for countless years, then immediate action from BKK is needed.

Fortunately the Australian ambassador has been taking increasing interest in incidents like this and I hope he will induce strong action by the Australian government.

I sincerely hope the young men will be ok but even if they do survive the physical damage, they'll be mentally scarred for years to come.

Posted by Chris on February 27, 2011 09:11


@ Scuba B***** & GrahamM

I may disagree with the Ed on many issues but on this one I think the same.

Using the name of the Lord Buddha in a trivial way is being culturally insensitive.

I'm not religious at all but I do have respect for those who are.

It's not a question of being petty. It's about being considerate towards the feelings of others.

Posted by Chris on February 27, 2011 09:37


I am very upset to read about the Tuk Tuk mafia and their violent mob behavior that is never solved nor punished even if there are cctv cameras and witnesses. Anger management courses are needed. (moderated) This should STOP! But, it is so deep in the corrupt system anyway. Any one dare to change it?

Posted by Hockey on February 27, 2011 10:09


"We've had two complaints, the first one some time ago."

Two? Out of how many readers?

Boo hoo, could I respectfully request that Editor grow a a pair?

Posted by Jason on February 27, 2011 10:18

Editor Comment:

What you need to grow, Jason, is a brain. Have you ever been away from Thai Visa before? Someone may need to hold your hand.


Let me open a can of worms here then?
There is a sign in the airport that says no images of Buddha or parts there of may leave thailand. Well what about tattoos of Buddha then? Yes I welcome your comments and observations? Is everybody checked, I don't think so, you pious readers and all?

Posted by GrahamM on February 27, 2011 10:59

Editor Comment:

I won't let you run with that one, GrahamM. It's plain that images of Buddha are held in the highest regard, as they should be. It would be possible to have a respectful tattoo, or a disrespectful one. Debate closed.



Posted by GrahamM on February 27, 2011 12:34

Editor Comment:

You've proved you're out to make life painful for us all. You're banned from Phuketwan.


I have been to patong many times, and have a booking for May, but after reading ALL this bad publicity i am considering cancelling my trip, shame that the authorities seem to be reluctant to stop these sort of attacks by these THUGS.

Posted by graeme on February 27, 2011 12:48


I am sorry for commenting a little of topic, but is it really necessary to post comments like that of Jason? And for GrahamM, I think chilled ScubbaMaster can talk for himself, so why jump every band wagon here?

I urge the editor to filter more nonsense and off topic comments out, as it gets - after being fun for a while - very tiresome. Also I think some comments get a full flak by the eds that seem not to deserve it by itself only in context with others maybe.

And please, do not mention Thai Visa too often, as it really stole me two hours of my life, as I had to check the forum about you, and I desperately want them back. What a waste.

Phuketwan, its news and the comment section with all the value and insights offer tremendous information on Phuket and Thailand. Please cut down the sniping back and forth, even when the entertainment factor for the sm faction will decline.

Posted by Lena on February 27, 2011 15:43


My family and another one had allready a booking for the Marriott but finally after readying all this bad things, we decide yesterday to change our bookings. Finally it was no problem to change to Bali. I came to Thailand and especially to Phuket since 18 years but finally its enough. I can spent my 5k, which i normally spent within two weeks with my family, anywhere else. We will definitely not be coming back till something has changed. Keep on robbing tourists, being unfriendly and thinking shorttime.... . U will feel the results soon. Goodbye Phuket !

Posted by AsiaAddicted on February 27, 2011 16:47


I don't understand why you mention Australians been caught for petty theft? I am sure other nationality's have been caught for it & I don't see how it ties into this story?
You may as well try to connect the fact that the Thais used a knife and chefs use Knifes so the attackers must be chefs.

Posted by Joel M on February 28, 2011 05:20

Editor Comment:

The article dealt with issues being experienced by Australian tourists.


Your article title appears to be about 1 specific situation. The entire article does actually! Besides your last little bit (which most would see as a dig to Australia), this article is about 2 Australians that got attacked, not about the overall way Australians act or are treated in LOS.

Posted by Joel M on February 28, 2011 07:33

Editor Comment:

If we were taking ''a dig'' at Australia, you'd know about it. Other nationalities are certainly - in some cases, but not all - equally liable to get themselves into trouble on Phuket, but police lists show several of those caught stealing lately are Australian. Our concern - along with the concern of envoys - is the excessive punishment tourists endure for minor offences.


Just flew in from Thailand Phuket the place is a cross between Schoolie QLD & Kings Cross, full of fuelled up young Aussies that can't handle their alcohol.

Posted by Joe on February 28, 2011 13:10


I stopped coming to Phuket four years ago and never missed it.

Posted by william Dale on February 28, 2011 14:25


Scuba***** is not a he, it's quite possibly a she, and is from a dive shop in Kata in The Beach Center. if it's her, and I think it is, she could care less about what Thais think, or anyone thinks. if it's not her, then it's one of the two dive instructors.

Posted by JingJing on February 28, 2011 18:01


Thailand is really getting worse.
Wonder if the police will really investigate

Posted by Sam on February 28, 2011 22:35


As an aussie , i would be willing to bet on some problem between the two groups and the st george boys copped a beating. The problem facing phuket is that now you will be seeing more and more 'young australians' that have little respect for anything or anyone. This is a spoiled generation , reason for heading to other places this year.

Posted by carlos on March 1, 2011 19:51

Editor Comment:

Aussies have a tradition of mateship, and fairness. Are you sure you're an Aussie?


Posted by carlos on March 1, 2011 19:51
Were you ever young?
Bye bye, you and your attitude will not be missed.

Posted by Phuket Kop on March 2, 2011 21:03


Many criminals on Phuket are now aware that they can pressure their victims to silence and rapid departure by coming up with counter charges.

This situation, as already addressed by PW, where tourists often incur expenses that can run into millions including loss of employment and other knock-on effects because they are prohibited to leave Thailand until their case is heard, is alarming.

I don't advocate getting away with petty crimes but the current situation is inhumane.

It could even be taken into consideration if someone complained to the HRC.

IMO tourists should be allowed to leave upon posting a bail no larger than the damage caused by their alleged crime and free to enter again to defend themselves when the trial is up.

Alternatively they could assign an attorney to act on their behalf.

If found guilty and not willing to pay the damages or fines, the bail should be used to cover them.

This should however only be implemented to crimes not considered serious.

Stealing or minor property damage would spring into my mind as valid examples.

Posted by Chris on March 3, 2011 20:27

Editor Comment:

Er, we haven't talked to many criminals, so we can't say that there are ''many criminals now aware that they can pressure their victims to silence and rapid departure by coming up with counter charges.''

We don't see signs of conspiracy. Nor have we heard of anyone paying ''millions'' in expenses. Close to one million baht? In one case, yes.

The issue doesn't need exaggeration. Envoys certainly need to look at ways of ensuring fairness and justice for their citizens.


Go back to Bali, it amazes me when people say "we didn't do anything wrong".The Australian youth of today don't respect authority in Australia and think they can do and treat anyone with disrespect without any consequences. Learn some manners and respect for other people and maybe you won't get Bashed.

Posted by Aussi Trent on March 15, 2011 11:38


Two Aussies knifed
Not to say these guys were in the wrong, but there is an element of younger Australians visiting Phuket that do abuse the local hospitality and cause similar biffs. Just three weeks ago a twenty something aussie on crutches with a broken leg wanted to have a go at me because i brushed his arm while walking past him in Bangla Rd, now i am a aussie 115kg 6.5 ex football player and this guy was pissed and grossly underweight with 4 mates in similar states of drunkenness. It reflects an ugly trend happening abroad and in our own back yard here in Australia.

Posted by T.Goldcoast on March 20, 2011 21:44


just had six weeks in patong. all good apart from tuk tuk drivers. 300 baht for one person from bangla to holiday inn. CONDONED ROBBERY.. the police have too control this mob, its way out of hand.

Posted by john on March 20, 2011 23:34


Is Phuketwan still allowing the editor to monoplise this site? i notice no sign of any good phuket news for good phuket people helping phuket. i am waiting your reply or non reply...who's paying your wages these days?

Posted by johndev on March 21, 2011 05:58

Editor Comment:

Your Phuketwan subscription, like your capacity to read and retain information, is in need of a substantial top-up.

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