Cabbie Charges Brit 4,000 Baht for Airport-Khaosan Trip

Police show an image of the rigged fare meter indicating a whopping 3,985 baht.

BANGKOK — A taxi driver was arrested Thursday after fleecing a British tourist of nearly 10 times the normal fare for a trip from the airport to Khaosan Road, police said.

Tourist Police said Sawoei Puttisan, 57, admitted to rigging his fare meter and charging the British man a total of 3,985 baht for a ride from Suvarnabhumi Airport to the backpacker hub. The tourist called the police to report the crime after he arrived, Tourist Police said in a news conference.

A typical ride from the airport to a destination in Bangkok usually costs no higher than 500 baht.

The Land Transport Department said it has suspended Sawoei’s driving license for three months. The driver will also have to undergo special training and pay up to 7,000 baht in fines.

“Turbo meter” is a scam practiced by some taxi drivers to con unsuspecting visitors.