The driver has been identified as Peecha Chodang, 40, said Gen Akom Pongprom, Commander of the Royal Thai Army 41st Military Circle, which has a headquarters in Phuket.
The video shows a conversation the female Thai tourist has with Mr Peecha about the fares charged by taxis in Phuket while the driver starts his journey to Kata, where the woman was to be taken.
However, Mr Peecha becomes irate with the tourist after she starts asking why the rates are so high and why he charges “about B700” to be taken to Kata when other drivers at the airport quoted her B1,000.
The woman also asked about the fast turnover charge rate of the meter, to which Mr Preecha explained that the meter started at a B50 surcharge and that the fare includes the standard fee drivers must pay Airports of Thailand (AoT), which operates Phuket International Airport, for the privilege of picking up passengers at the terminal.
Angered by the constant questioning, Mr Preecha turned the taxi around and returned her to the airport for her to take another taxi to Kata.
“After the clip was uploaded on many social media websites, many people posted comments criticizing the driver, so I coordinated with Phuket Tourist Police and Sakoo Police officers at the airport to track down the driver,” Gen Akom said.
Mr Preecha has since confirmed he was the driver in the video, he added.
“The authorities have fined him B1,000 for refusing to take a passenger, and they will check his meter to make sure it is not rigged to overcharge,” Gen Akom Pongprom said.
Gen Akom added that officers at Phuket Airport will begin checking all metered taxis to make sure they charge at the government-set rates.
Navy officers warned taxi drivers earlier this year that overcharging passengers or refusing to take a passenger would result in a B1,000 fine. (See story here.)
Meanwhile, taxi fares in Phuket as set by the government are the highest in the country. (See rates here.)
A viral clip earlier this year by Thai internet celebrity Jack Brown failed to result in any reduction in the rates charged by taxis or tuk-tuks in Phuket. (See story here.)
Passengers who believe they have been overcharged by their driver can lodge a complaint by calling the transport complaint hotline Tel: 1584.