UPDATE: The Australian tourist has since retracted his claims in the story below and admitted that the claims that he was abandoned by his taxi driver and that he was robbed at gunpoint were both fake. (See story here.)
Police are also looking for the taxi driver, confirmed Lt Col Kittipoom Tinthalang of the Thalang Police.
The tourist was identified as Terrance John White, of Innisfail, Queensland.
Mr White explained to police that he was riding in a taxi back to his hotel room in the Nai Yang area, just south of Phuket International Airport, early yesterday morning (Nov 24) when an argument ensued about the driver not using the meter.
The argument ended with the driver of the taxi stopping the car on the dark coastal road near the intersection of the Mu Dok – Sakoo Rd (intersection of Route 4018 and Route 4031) – at the southern end of Nai Yang, and Mr White getting out of the taxi.
Soon after getting out of the taxi, at about 3am, while Mr White was walking along the road, four persons arrived – presumably on two motorbikes. Two of them had guns and pointed them at him while robbing him, Mr White told the police.
The robbers made off with B10,000 cash and Mr White’s iPhone, he said.
After being robbed, Mr White reported the incident to police at Phuket airport, who took him to Sakoo Police Station to file a formal report, which was received by Lt Col Bandasak Srilert.
Sakoo Police, along with Mr White, reported the incident to the Thalang Police at 4pm yesterday.
It was not made clear in the police report whether Mr White exited the taxi by choice, or if they driver stopped the car to abandon him by the side of the road. However, Mr White did later confirm that the taxi was bearing green licence plates, indicating that the vehicle to be a legally registered “commercial passenger vehicle”.
Col Kittipoom Tinthalang of the Thalang Police noted that police are now checking CCTV in the area and along the route Mr White travelled for any clues in tracking down the taxi driver and the four robbers.