CHON BURI – Police on Thursday say that an Irish national who claimed that a local Bangkok van driver assaulted him and robbed 2,500 baht from him, has admitted to making up the story.
Ciaran Duffy 25, an English teacher at a Bangkok school, appeared in Thai media earlier this week claiming that a van driver had attacked him after he couldn’t find his money for a 2,000 baht (€53) fare from Pattaya to Bangkok.
Mr Duffy then claimed that the driver, Buddee Srimontri (52), stole money from him, according to Thai Rath news agency.
An Online video was posted that showed Mr Duffy with injuries to his face and legs, and appeals for information were issued.
Khaosod reported that Mr Buddee then turned himself in after news spread of the incident to deny the allegations, telling police that Mr Duffy was drunk and being a nuisance to other passengers in the Bangkok-bound van by shouting and putting his feet up on the seat in front of him.
Mr Buddee said that he then stopped the van, and forced Duffy to get out, pushing him onto the path before driving away. He also denied all allegations that he robbed Duffy.
Lt. Panisa Kuncharin of the Chonburi City Police Station said on Wednesday that Mr Duffy admitted he was drunk at the time, and in fact had no recollection of what had actually happened, nor did he remember Mr Buddee taking his money.
“He noticed that his money was gone after he was left behind by the van, so he thought the driver must have taken it, but he actually didn’t see that happen,” Lt. Panisa said, adding that Mr Duffy was “drunk and senseless.”
Duffy then admitted to making up the entire story and suggested to police that he may have dropped his wallet before even entering the vehicle.
At a press conference at the police station in Chon buri Province, Mr Duffy apologised to Mr Buddee about the claims, and shook his hand.
Mr. Bundee was fined 500 baht for pushing Mr Duffy, whose fall caused minor injuries.
The Department of Land Transport said it would not take action against him for leaving Mr Duffy behind because Mr Buddee had reasonable cause to do so.
Lt. Panisa Kuncharin added that Mr Buddee agreed not to press any charges against Duffy because the Irishman had apologised to him in person.