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Phuket taxis run to Navy over demolition of taxi stand on private property

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PHUKET: Taxi drivers from Phuket’s tourist-popular west coast beach area Kata-Karon are ready to file a complaint today about taxi stands on private land being destroyed.

The complaint against a Karon Police Superintendent will be filed to the Third Naval Area Command at about 4pm.

“The taxi drivers say that police tore down a taxi stand that was located on private land,” Kamnan Winai Chidchiew told the Phuket Gazette.

The Karon taxi drivers have been notorious for their disregard of local police throughout the years (stories here and here), having threatened to blockade attempts for public transportation from Phuket International Airport to Kata-Karon (story here). However, with the Army’s support the Airport Express bus company announced that it plans to offer the service to Kata-Karon by the middle of this month (story here).

Kata-Karon Mayor Tawee Thongcham was arrested for his connection to the regional taxi mafia on June 4 (story here) as a deployment of 100 soldiers and a huge task force of 1,110 police officers and 40 volunteers began a sweep of Phuket’s west coast to purge the island of illegal, violent, abusive and cheating taxi, tuk-tuk and minivan drivers (story here).

Since then, police have hit Mayor Tawee with five more charges for his alleged connection to the powerful taxi mafia in the area (story here).

Also, four high-ranking officials in Kata-Karon were arrested for their alleged involvement in assisting taxi mafia cartels to thrive in their ambit.

The four high-ranking officials are Kata-Karon Deputy Mayors Ithiporn Sangkeaw and Sompong Dabpetch, Director of the Kata-Karon Municipality Engineering Division Wanchai Sae-Tan and the Kata-Karon Municipality Chief Administrative Officer Weerasak Anekwongsawat.

— Saran Mitrarat

 

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