A taxi driver who received more than eight million baht in public donations last month has been accused of lying about his situation by a taxi operator.
The driver, Mr. Sitthichai Klaichit, appeared on the Facebook page of a Thai reporter after he told her that the coronavirus pandemic has made it extremely difficult for him to make a living as a taxi driver.
Speaking to the reporter at a warehouse in the Bang Phli district of Samut Prakan, the man informed her that he was delivering goods as a courier to try and earn some cash, showing her only 200 baht in his wallet.
After the reporter posted the story on her Facebook page, cash donations from the public who were touched by his situation rolled in. Overnight donations reached an incredible 8.3 million baht.
The emotional Mr. Klaichit thanked everyone who donated and said he planned to buy a secondhand taxi and build his own home because he was renting.
He also said he would donate money to hospitals, to fight the forest fires in the north of Thailand, and to help other poor taxi drivers.
However, the entire story is now being questioned after a taxi operator, Mr. Preecha Chumsombat, accused Mr. Klaichit of lying and filed a complaint with the Muang district police in Samut Prakan.
Mr. Chumsombat says that the taxi driver and his son owe him around 14,000 baht from rented taxi fees and that they refused to pay him after the donations were received.
He also claims that Mr. Klaichit lives in a house owned by his ex-wife and that he was not as poor as he was made out to be by the initial reports.
Several attempts have been made by Mr. Chumsombat to contact Mr. Klaichit but he can not get in touch with him.
The police are investing the matter.
Source: Bangkok Post