Immigration Commissioner Orders Investigation into Tuk-Tuk Drivers Following Social Media Claims

Date:

On June 13, 2023, Major General Piya-anan Tosakulwong, the Immigration Commander 1, took action in response to a case involving an Australian YouTube channel. The video clip, filmed on Yaowarat Road, featured a conversation between the YouTuber and a middle-aged tuk-tuk driver who claimed to be Cambodian. The video gained significant attention and sparked criticism, suggesting that foreigners were unlawfully taking Thai citizens’ job opportunities.

In light of this, Major General Piya-anan instructed Deputy Superintendent of Investigation, Police Lieutenant Colonel Suriya Phuangsombat, along with a team, to conduct an investigation into the individuals shown in the video clip. Their focus was on the Cambodian individuals mentioned. The team located a tuk-tuk driver residing on Dragon Road in Pom Prap Subdistrict, Pom Prap Sattru Phai District, Bangkok. It was discovered that the driver, Mr. Boonsri Suksai, aged 68 and a native of Phon Sai, Roi Et Province, was indeed Thai. He had been working as a tuk-tuk driver in the Yaowarat area.

Mr. Boonsri explained that he had Khmer Surin ancestry, enabling him to speak Khmer. When the YouTuber encountered him on the street, Mr. Boonsri engaged in conversation and persuaded him to use his tuk-tuk service. In response to the question of his origin, he chose to say he was from Cambodia in English, assuming that foreigners might not be familiar with Roi Et. He emphasized that he had no ill intentions and that his ability to speak both Khmer and English stemmed from his extensive experience as a tourist bus driver.

Major General Piya-anan further disclosed that the investigation concluded that the person featured in the social media video was not an alien and had not committed any offenses under the Immigration Act. He confirmed that a news link would be provided to the media to clarify the situation.

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