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Taxi driver pays after roadside dispute with TV executive 

Apr 03. 2017
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By The Nation

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A taxi driver who was caught on video demanding Bt1,000 from a TV executive was fined Bt2,000 on Monday for rejecting and being rude to a passenger.

The Land Transport Department also suspended the taxi licence of Rungnakhon Dulkul for 30 day, deputy director-general Nanthapong Cherdchu said.

Nanthapong on Monday summoned Rungnakhon to report to the department over the incident, which was filmed by a smartphone. The clip has gone viral after being posted on Facebook.

Nanthapong said the taxi driver had been fined Bt1,000 for rejecting a passenger and Bt1,000 for being impolite. Rungnakhon was also required to undergo a three-hour training session regarding proper service.

Rungnakhon said he did not normally reject passengers, but Thakolkiart Verawan, an executive at GMM’s One Channel, had been hailing a taxi at the corner of Soi Sukhumvit 33 where the road was clearly painted red and white, meaning he could not park his taxi there.

The taxi driver said he had signaled that he could not park to Thakolkiart, whom he did not recognise as a TV executive, but as he was making a left turn out of the soi, Thakolkiart hit his car.

Rungnakhon said he was angry because his car had been slightly damaged but Thakolkiart offered to pay compensation, so he demanded Bt1,000. He added that he thought the issue was over after he received the money.

“I would like to tell the person who posted the video clip, if you don’t know the truth, you should not post [the video] to cause damage to others. Normally, I am polite, but I am a human so I become angry sometimes.”

Rungnakhon also gave a message to reporters to be conveyed to Thakolkiart: “No matter how rich your are, please know that I make my living day-by-day. I was a victim, but I had to defend myself. My wife and children need food and we need to rent our house. We need to buy our rice. We won’t have income for a month now.”

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