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Hundreds of taxi drivers gather at Government House to present demands

Maya Taylor

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Hundreds of taxi drivers gather at Government House to present demands | The Thaiger
Taxis on a busy Bangkok thoroughfare. PHOTO: Connor Williams on Unsplash
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Hundreds of taxi drivers have held a rally outside Government House in Bangkok, calling for 6 key demands to be met. Around 500 drivers attended the rally yesterday, submitting a petition addressed to the Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha. It’s not the first time the strong taxi ‘union’ has banded together to push demands to improve their pay and conditions.

The gathering was led by Worapol Kaemkhunthod, chairman of the Association of Public Taxi Motorists, who says members are not happy with a draft bill that paves the way for private cars to be used in ride-hailing services. They are also calling on the government to extend the operational age of taxis from 9 to 12 years, and to abolish the requirement for drivers to fit GPS tracking devices.

The group was met by Suporn Atthawong, vice minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, who accepted their petition. He acknowledges the drivers’ concerns, saying competition from ride-hailing apps is a worry for them.

Apps like ‘Grab’, the increased efficiency and, usually, cheaper fare, have slowly eroded into the traditional taxi business model.

Drivers are also calling on the government to provide them with some form of income protection by regulating the price of fuel and capping interest on taxi-related loans. They also want a reduction in insurance to match that of private vehicles.

The Ministry of Transport has addressed some of the concerns, reassuring drivers that GPS tracking devices will not be mandatory. A spokesman says drivers will merely be asked to install them voluntarily, for safety reasons. Meanwhile, Suporn says officials are also discussing car-financing options with the Office of the Consumer Protection Board.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    September 9, 2020 at 11:37 am

    They do not like Grab because they cannot set the fare on the spot, which means they cannot charge a foreigner more.
    Plus there is record of a Grab request, which again limits their options to corrupt the fare.
    Such as refusing to switch on the meter.
    They cannot stop progress.

  2. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    September 9, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    Whilst Grab and similar things are great innovations for consumers, the real story is that there are too many taxi drivers for the number of consumers, not just tourists, but skint Thais. The model of leasing a cab and living off a meagre return after the repayments collapses when there is no tourism, Grab or not.

  3. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    September 9, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    Have to give Grab a try when/if I return. It’s always a hassle when the driver doesn’t use the meter. I had a driver offer to take me from Soi 8 to Soi 16 for 500THB then he dropped to 300 after I said it doesn’t cost the much to go to BKK. I took a taxi that used a meter and gave him 100. I walked by that 1st driver everday for 5 mos and would not give him any business.

  4. Avatar

    Anh Lam

    September 10, 2020 at 12:09 am

    GPS unit keep honest drivers honest. The drivers that are against them not need to be in the business as there is more totheir intentions than being honest.. Bus and trucks and commercial vehicles are required to have them installed.. Are taxi’s not commwrcial vehicles as we?

  5. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    September 12, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    Alas for the Bangkok taxi drivers, the good old days of shining the seats of their trousers, in air con taxis, and ripping off tourists by not switching the meter on are gone.
    Rip offs by taxis is what makes Grab so attractive.

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Bangkok

Around 10 villagers hospitalised after chemical spill in Samut Prakan

Caitlin Ashworth

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Around 10 villagers hospitalised after chemical spill in Samut Prakan | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sanook

Around 10 people were hospitalised after a chemical tank spilled at a village in Samut Prakan, just southwest of Bangkok. Those near the spill reported feeling nauseous and some had trouble breathing. Officals do not known what chemical was in the tank.

The 1 metre tank had been taken to the woods by 2 employees at a Bangphli Niwet Village second hand shop who hoped they could take it apart and sell the scrap metal. The 2 employees fainted when the tank spilled. Trees and grass in a 100 metre radius of the chemical spill died.

The chemical let off a strong odor and Thai media says the fumes spread to the village. Those at the second hand shop, close by to the chemical spill, started to feel nauseous and some had trouble breathing. Some people reported skin rashes after the incident. Around 10 villagers, including children, were sent to hospital.

Thai media says police secured the area and sprayed water into the air. 500 metres around the tank has been sealed off and workers are cleaning the area to remove the chemical. Medics are doing health checks to make sure others are not experiencing symptoms from the fumes.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Crime

Man arrested for fake immigration documents operation at Bangkok grocery store

Caitlin Ashworth

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Man arrested for fake immigration documents operation at Bangkok grocery store | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Naewna

A Burmese man was arrested after he allegedly faked work permit documents and stamps, operating at a produce shop in Bangkok near the Myanmar Embassy. After a number of cases involving Burmese migrants with fake visa documents and bogus stamps, immigration officers investigated the grocery store, posing as customers.

Many customers entering the grocery store didn’t buy vegetables and were seen exchanging documents, according to Thai media. After going undercover and collecting evidence, immigration officials arrested the Burmese man, Thai media reports as Ong, and 2 women allegedly involved in the scheme. They searched the property and found a large number of Myanmar passports and various kinds of stamps.

Ong allegedly admitted to producing fake immigration stamps, work permit applications and other immigration documents. He charged around 2,000 to 3,000 baht for his services, police say. Ong, who has lived in Thailand for a while and can read Thai, allegedly told police he acquired legal work permits and the proper documents, becoming familiar with the stamps and documents needed by immigration. He allegedly told police he copied immigration stamps as well as stamps from hospitals used on medical certificates.

Thai media says immigration police are now expanding their investigation to crack down on other operations producing fake visa documents and stamps.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Bangkok

Immigration police arrest 3 at Bangkok airport, 2 Thais allegedly had fake US visas

Caitlin Ashworth

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Immigration police arrest 3 at Bangkok airport, 2 Thais allegedly had fake US visas | The Thaiger
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Thai immigration police arrested 3 people at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport after immigration officials checked their biometrics system. Police arrested 2 Thai nationals who were attempting to leave the country with fake United States visas and another Thai woman who was allegedly involved in a romance scam gang.

The Thai man and woman were caught while going through an immigration check at the airport. They say they each paid 50,000 baht for the visas, hoping to travel to America. They sent their passports to the visa seller and had set up a meeting to pick them up. Thai media did not give details on who was selling the visas. Police called the United States Embassy, confirming the visas are fake and no visas from the United States have been issued under the 2 names.

Immigration police also arrested a Thai woman allegedly involved in money laundering and a romance scam gang, according to Thai media. Reports don’t go into detail about the woman’s charges, but say she was allegedly involved in international crime and had an Interpol red notice. Immigration officials confirmed her location by checking the airport’s biometrics system.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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