Phuket Governor denies sweeping mafia problems “under the carpet’
PHUKET: The Phuket Governor has strongly denied allegations of ignoring rampant corruption and “mafia” operations in Phuket.
“Phuket has never swept problems under the carpet,” Governor Maitri sternly told the Phuket Gazette yesterday.
The public statement followed a consortium of leading Phuket travel figures on Monday insinuating that some of Phuket’s top officials were not willing to help “take out the trash” (story here).
Among the claims was the allegation that the Phuket Government was not assisting the Department Of Special Investigation (DSI) and the Ministry of Tourism and Sport (MOTS) in the Bangkok officials’ crackdown on mafia.
“Every time Bangkok officials visit Phuket, we welcome them and support them with everything they require,” Governor Maitri said.
“I have attended [nearly] every meeting with the MOTS and the DSI when they have come to Phuket so we can keep them up to date with our progress.
“I missed only one visit, on June 25, and that was because I had to go to Bangkok for a budget meeting for the upcoming 2014 fiscal year,” he said.
Governor Maitri said he had assigned no less than six teams of officials to assist the DSI and Tourism Ministry’s efforts to eradicate organized crime on Phuket.
“The Phuket Police are also helping to crack down on the taxi mafia,” he added.
“I haven’t said or done anything to hamper the efforts of the DSI and the MOTS. I have even set a meeting to be held every Tuesday to follow up any cases being taken up by the Anti-organized Crime Centers in Phuket, which are operated by the DSI, police and local government officers,” Governor Maitri said.
“We have always helped them with any problems they have found,” he assured.
— Saran Mitrarat
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