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The Phuket tourist allegedly bashed by the tuk-tuk driver is treated

Phuket Tuk-Tuk Driver Allegedly Beat Tourist With Bar Over Fare

Thursday, December 17, 2015
UPDATING All Day, Every Day

THE injured tourist is British and Patong police contacted British consular officials to help obtain a statement from him on Wednesday, Phuketwan has learned.

Original Report

PHUKET: A Phuket tuk-tuk driver assaulted a tourist in a dispute over a high fare in Patong, authorities have confirmed - but police have so far declined to reveal details.

A spokesman for Phuket Land Transport told Phuketwan that a ''very serious incident'' took place on Tuesday evening when a 25-year-old tuk-tuk driver beat up a tourist using a small iron bar.

The tourist's name has been revealed as Joseph William Damarell but his nationality has yet to become clear.

Mr Damarell required treatment at Patong Hospital for wounds to his left arm.

Tuk-tuk driver Sutam Samsri is alleged to have picked up Mr Damarell in beach road, Patong, about 4.30pm on Tuesday and taken him on a short journey of about five kilometres to Harsipbee Road where he demanded 1000 baht for the fare.

The driver allegedly refused to accept 300 baht, at one stage held the tourist's telephone then allegedly beat him before driving off.

Senior officers at Kathu Police Station appeared coy to talk about the incident today.

Often, settlements in fares disputes are mediated - but a serious alleged assault by a tuk-tuk driver requires charges to be laid and, if the charges are confirmed, an appropriate penalty.

The attitude of police in Kathu is reminiscent of a period several years ago when the tendency was to not report serious offences ''to protect Thailand's tourism industry.''

That approach changed when honorary consuls met with authorities and police regularly four times a year, but meetings are rarely held these days.

A recent parade in Soi Bangla by scores of authorities was designed to reassure tourists about the safety of Phuket.

But only with police who are prepared to release information in the proper way will Phuket's reputation be eventually restored and maintained as a safe and secure destination.

Ironically, a consuls' forum due to be held with the Governor of Phuket today was postponed to a date to be fixed.

Most of the initial information about the alleged assault emerged in Facebook posts.

Almost six years ago, Phuketwan published an article headlined: 'Will This Photo Give Phuket Real Public Transport?'

The photograph showed a Canadian tourist who had been beaten by a tuk-tuk driver after the man demanded 150 baht for a one-minute trip.

In response to the likelihood of a counter-suit by the driver, the case was settled in mediation.

There have been incidents involving disputes over excessive tuk-tuk fares since then, but fewer of them lately.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Totally unacceptable......once again.

Posted by Michael on December 17, 2015 14:52


Allegedly? We are allegedly on planet earth..

Posted by Farang888 on December 17, 2015 15:59

Editor Comment:

Until there is an accurate version of what took place, everything has to be viewed with care. Unless, that is, anonymous PW commenters have insights the rest of us lack.


The driver should be on numerous charges, if this is true. Assault with a weapon, assault causing injury, demanding money with menaces etc. Asking for 1000 baht for a short journey? That's high season gouging at its best.

Posted by Arun Muruga on December 17, 2015 22:57

Editor Comment:

There are confusing reports about the cause of the altercation, which is why clarification by officials is essential.


Lesson number 1

Agree upon the price before you enter a non metered taxi or tuk tuk.

Posted by Farang on December 17, 2015 23:22


An absolute disgrace.
An assault charge should be made but we all know that wont happen. Typical mafia rip-off merchants. Always negotiate the fare before you put one foot in these mafia controlled rip offs.
The earth will freeze over before anything is done re Tuk-Tuks and Jet Skis in Phuket.

Posted by chaseable on December 18, 2015 09:13


There are confusing reports about the cause of the altercation, which is why clarification by officials is essential.

Are you so Naive to believe what you just wrote/Stated ????????

Posted by Knowmorethanyou on December 18, 2015 14:21

Editor Comment:

So Greg, Big Banana and Kangaloo is now Knowmorethanyou? Well, you'll have trouble living up to that one, too. especially if you've actually got nothing to say.


i just found myself wasting my time reading PW....

Posted by Niklas Blume on December 18, 2015 14:33

Editor Comment:

Are you hopping mad, frog? Or just failing to add anything of value as usual?


hahahahahahahahahaha u just cracking me up sometimes Allan balloon .....

Posted by niklas Blume on December 18, 2015 15:03

Editor Comment:

I have to tell you, nothing of value there, frog.


if the tourist fought back, would he have lived to be charged with a crime ?

Posted by mike murphy on December 18, 2015 23:49

Editor Comment:

There's no suggestion that this was more than an isolated incident, and no point in creating a false impression, mike. If, if, if . . . .lived in fear of possibilities if you wish. The rest of us will go on leading normal lives.


Clean up with this Tuk-tuk menace. Clean the streets instead of the beaches! Get Phuket back to normal. There is no reason to pay 6 times more for a Tuk-tuk or Taxi than in Bangkok. The Tourists need reliable Partners. What is going on in Phuket's taxi business is fraud and an excessive price politic. It's time to act now to re-establish and gain back the confidence of our customers. Our honoured Governor made a very good attempt already when he was Vice-Governor. It's time to repeat and this time I hope he achieves sustained success.

Posted by Tom on December 19, 2015 21:42

Editor Comment:

The concept of the tuk-tuks was established when Phuket was a series of villages. The agreement was not to pick up passengers in rival villages. While Phuket is now a vast urban spread, the village idea lives on. The lack of sensible fares and the general rise in prices will prevent the governor making Phuket an attractive destination for conventions - from Bangkok as well as overseas - when compared with other destinations.

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