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Drunk Frenchman and a criminal taxi driver

A taxi driver has been arrested in Bangkok’s Watthana district after stealing cash and valuables worth an estimated 50,000 baht from an inebriated French man who fell asleep in his cab.

A team of police led by Pol Col Phudit Boonyaritthichaikit, deputy investigation chief at Thong Lor police station, arrested the cabbie, identified only as Torsak, 49, in front of a hotel in Khlong Toei Nuea area on Thursday.

The arrest came after Manuel Boyer, 32, a French national working in information technology business, filed a complaint with Thong Lor police that his Lacoste brand bag containing cash and valuables worth 54,200 baht in total had disappeared.

The incident happened in front of a Lawson 108 convenience store in Soi Sukhumvit 22, Thai media reported on Friday.

Popular Facebook page “Yak Dang Diew Jadhai return part 3” earlier posted a clip of appearing to show Mr Boyer boarding a taxi in front of the shop at around 4am on April 23. 

The post included a message from his girlfriend alleging the taxi driver stole her boyfriend’s bag after he fell asleep in a drunken state, adding his passport and other items were lost in the incident.

After initiating an investigation and gathering evidence, police were able to secure a warrant for the arrest of Mr Torsak on the charge of theft.

Records show the cab driver had previously been indicted for possession of illicit drugs.

A search of his room found the Lacoste bag belonging to the victim, but the suspect indicated he had sold the stolen iPhone to a shop in Huai Khwang market.

During questioning, Mr Torsak told police he initially intended to wake up the passenger but changed his mind after seeing his valuables. He then decided to steal them for sale to finance his own expenses. 

The cabbie has been detained at Thong Lor police station for further legal proceedings.

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