A 34-year-old Chinese female tour guide was arrested a few hours after she abandoned a group of 22 Chinese tourists on a chartered tour bus and a Thai guide by the roadside in Takua Thung district of Phang Nga province last night.
The tourists were abandoned after they refused to pay extra expense of 9,000 baht for upgraded service demanded by the suspect, identified as Ms Hung Ling.
She was taken to Khok Kloi police station for questioning last night.
The 22 Chinese tourists were travelling on a tour provided by Xin Xing Travel & Trading Co Ltd, but they were left by the roadside at 7.00pm last night.
They were earlier in the evening taken to have a meal at a restaurant in Khok Kloi after a day trip to Similan Island.
On the return trip to Phuket after the dinner, the bus broke down, and Ms Hung asked each tourist to pay an extra 1,100 yuan or 5,500 baht, prompting the tourists to shout at her, and refused to pay.
The incident was immediately reported by one tourist to the Chinese Consulate in Phuket which later alerted relevant Thai authorities for help.
Ms Hung fled, leaving the tourists and her Thai guide by the roadside
All the stranded tourists were later transported back to Phuket's under coordination by the Tourist Association Center (TAC) in Phang Nga.
Ms Hung was later tracked down to a rented condo in Phuket as she was about to leave, and arrested.
Police initially charged her for working illegally as a tour guide, and are looking into Xin Xing Travel & Trading Co Ltd if it has operating license or not.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)