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Phuket’s Organized Crime Center keeps eye on the prize – illegal taxi industry

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: An officer at the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) Organized Crime Center clarified today that the current goal of the center is solely to dismantle the illegal taxi operations in Phuket, which officers believe are at the core of tourist extortion and local money laundering issues.

“The center (story here) at this point is designed to tackle all the problems that are derived from the illegal taxi industry on the island, which means we are are not actually following leads concerning other areas of crime, such as drug dealing,” said Lt Col Somboon Sarasitt of the DSI Bureau of Special Crime Region 3.

Though the center has received complaints concerning noisy bars and wastewater issues, Col Somboon maintains that officers at the center will continue to investigate only crimes that can be linked to the illegal taxi business.

“Right now, we are just working on reducing the power of whoever is behind the illegal taxis in Phuket. One of those steps is getting taxis legal,” Col Somboon said.

A hotline number has yet to be established for the two organized crime centers, but the facilities now have staff who speak English, he says.

“Anyone is more than welcome to come to our offices, open 24 hours a day, or call the Phuket Town center at 076-217 145, or the Phuket International Airport center at 076-327 100,” he says.

— Chutharat Plerin

 

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