The girl arrived alone on a flight from Singapore at 4:15 pm and contracted him to take her from the airport to her hotel in Patong.
She showed the driver the address of the hotel, which was on her phone. He quoted a price of B700. She suggested B550, to which he agreed.
On the way he stopped to buy some water and beer and then asked her for money for fuel. She gave him some money.
He drove her “around the hills many times”, she told police, until it was dark. Then he started to touch her arms and legs. She used her shoes to stop him. He persisted. She told him to stop, but he replied that she must give him a kiss first.
Finally, the taxi ran out of fuel at 9 pm at the Tawee Saman market in Phuket City. For the fourth time the driver asked his passenger for money for fuel.
Two local people saw her standing outside the car while he tried to push it. One told The Phuket News, on condition of anonymity, “The situation seemed odd. We could see baggage in the car and the girl was crying. The driver looked scary.
“We walked over and we talked with them. I speak some English and the girl spoke some too, so she explained how frightened she was, and why.
“We took her out of there to the police station.”
The taxi driver – understood to be from Saku – bought some fuel and drove away, but thanks to the witnesses, he was soon tracked down and arrested.
He denied any wrongdoing but police took him to hospital for a medical opinion about scratches on his shoulder which they suspect may have been from the Chinese girl’s fingernails as she defended herself.
Police later delivered her to her hotel but have suggested she change to another. They have also assured her that they will keep an eye on her.
The driver is currently undergoing further questioning.