Four Pattaya cabbie have been charged with intimidation and making threats after they were filmed surrounding an Uber car, preventing the driver from driving away and forcing his passengers to vacate the vehicle.
Police yesterday took action against the four cabbies, identified as Chalor Poompetch, 39; Supakrit Tongpleum, 42; Pramote Wattanasiri, 29; and Krit Sangsuwan, 42. They each denied all charges and the investigation is ongoing, STV Pattaya reported.
Uber driver Surasak Kookham, 29, said he was surrounded by the taxi drivers when he picked up a foreign couple on Pattaya Sai 2 Road on Wednesday. Surasak said the taxi drivers prevented the tourists from using his Uber service and threatened to have him arrested.
Uber remains unregulated in Thailand and its drivers have repeatedly been charged with misusing a private vehicle to provide a taxi service.
After Surarak paid a THB1,000 for the offense, he filed a police report against the cabbies.
This was the second case of intimidation by registered taxi drivers in Pattaya. Earlier this month, more than 20 taxi drivers surrounded the car of a Thai woman mistaken for an Uber driver.
It turned out that the woman Supannee Thampithak, 31, was only driving three Chinese customers who had rented her company’s condo.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Jitti Rodbangyang, police commissioner of Second Region Provincial, warned Pattaya taxi drivers not to take the law into their own hands, otherwise, they will be prosecuted.
At the same time, Pol. Lt. Gen. Jitti said officers will also strictly enforce the laws on Uber drivers.