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DSI puts violent Phuket taxi driver rank in cross hairs

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: The head of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) team operating in Phuket believes that enough information was gathered during a sting operation of a violent taxi rank on the island to launch a full-out investigation.

“For us to step in, we must declare a case a ‘special investigation’. Given what happened at the Merlin Beach Resort at Tri Trang Beach last week, I expect the case to be picked up by our team officially on December 2,” Somboon Sarasit, head of the DSI’s Bureau of Special Crime Unit 3, told the Phuket Gazette this morning.

After receiving complaints about taxi drivers threatening people who were picking up hotel guests at the resort, DSI officers devised a sting operation in order to garner enough information to add the case to their special investigations list.

“We set up a foreigner as a guest waiting to be picked up at the hotel, and then had one of our officers in plainclothes arrive to pick him up.

“One of the taxi drivers parked a motorbike in front of the officer’s vehicle, while other drivers started approaching the guest, telling him not to get into the vehicle” Lt Col Somboon said. “One of the drivers opened the door of the vehicle and tried to pull the plainclothes officer from it, but the officer resisted.”

It was at this point that another team of DSI offices arrived at the scene to defuse the situation.

“The other team identified themselves as DSI officers,” Col Somboon said.

Charges were not pressed against the taxi drivers.

“We will continue following up on complaints about taxi drivers to reduce the power of whoever is behind the illegal taxi operations on Phuket,” Col Somboon said.

— Chutharat Plerin

 

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