Police seized a tour bus in Saraphi district of Chiang Mai on Monday after five foreign tourists lodged a complaint that they were dumped at a gas station in Saraphi district instead of their destination in Chiang Mai township and that foreign currencies cash kept in their baggage stored in the baggage room of the bus were stolen.
The four Brazilian and Israeli tourists boarded the bus No 30 in Banglamphu bound for Chiang Mai. But when the bus stopped at a gas station in Saraphi district to allow the five passengers a break and then left, leaving behind the five.
After receiving the complaint, the police conducted a search and eventually found the bus parked at a garage. The driver and the bus attendants were then taken to the police station for questioning in front of the five complainants who correctly identified the driver.
Police searched the bus and found there was a passage way through which the bus driver could get down to the storeroom under bus where luggage were kept. But the driver and the attendants claimed the passage was normal and available in all tour buses. They also denied they stole the passengers' money.
Pol Col Piyaphan Pattharapongsin, deputy superintendent of Chiang Mai police, said police could not detain the bus driver and the attendants because there was no evidence or eyewitnesses to prove that they committed the theft.
However, he said the bus would be impounded at the Saraphi police station to be examined to determine whether the passage was modified for thievery purpose or not.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)