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The Department of Special investigation is due on Phuket next week

THE BIG CLEANUP Phuket Governor Meets Top Phuket Enforcers

Friday, July 19, 2013
PHUKET: Phuket Governor Maitree Intrusud has called a meeting of the holiday island's top law officers today in advance of next week's intervention from Bangkok.

The national government, at the instigation of the Minister of Tourism and Sport and the prompting of ambassadors from Europe and China, has authorised action by the Department of Special Investigation.

Tourism Minister Somsak Pureesrisak is expected to join DSI officers on Phuket from July 25 for the first activities of what's believed to be a campaign, not a mere ''crackdown.''

Leaders of Phuket police, Tourist Police, Marine Police. Immigration officers and all other law enforcement authorities were scheduled to join Governor Maitree in talks at his office in Phuket Provincial Hall, Phuket City.

Illegal businesses connected with tourism and operated by ''foreigners'' through nominees are expected to be a target in the initial stages of the campaign, together with Phuket's much-maligned tuk-tuks and taxis.

It's not clear at this stage precisely what's planned to address the longstanding issue of excessive fares and thuggish behavior by both legal and illegal tuk-tuk and taxi drivers.

Phuket's Police Commander, Somsak Pureesrisak, has already said the national government should provide more police to prove it is serious about making Phuket a safe and secure destination for tourists, as well as residents.

Undermanned Phuket police have been hesitant in the past to stand up to taxi and tuk-tuk drivers when they have blockaded public roads on occasions.

A sudden belated surge in enforcement activity is anticipated in advance of the DSI's arrival next Thursday.

Phuket's Tourist Police Deputy Chief, Lieutenant Colonel Bandit Kowoutham, told Phuketwan yesterday that the Tourist Police were even more undermanned than the regular police.

''I would like to see our numbers boosted by 200 percent,'' he said. The Tourist Police have about 30 fulltime officers, who also cover Phang Nga province, north of Phuket.

''Problems with jet-skis and motorcycle hirers have been permitted to develop and we've never had the means to control them,'' he said.

However, he noted that Phuket's problems were mostly not life-threatening compared to those in New York and other big cities.

He said senior Tourist Police in Bangkok had called for a review of all the major cases involving Phuket tourists, especially those where the crimes had yet to be solved.

Tourist Police were criticised earlier this year for declining to write a report by a young Chinese woman who claimed she'd been kidnapped by a Phuket taxi driver from the airport.

Eventually - with the persistence of the tourist and a couple of local Phuket women who came to her aid - the case was pursued by Phuket City police.

Comments

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I suppose the governor will set up a committee to check the problems again just to be sure they do exist? Then this committee will report back that they need another committee to help them, then the governor will call up another committee to help check up on the first two committees. Please stop them before these stories become so long winded that two more changes of governor will be needed to start the process again. The DSI needs to come here and kick some ar$%es into gear.

Posted by DunB on July 19, 2013 13:29

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Government gravy train - Sign in - sign out. Period

Posted by Gee on July 19, 2013 15:45

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Seeing the 'supersize' TukTuk 'live and checking the picture in your 'supersize' article, I noticed something: Maybe the DSI officers can look at the different license plate issue for the TukTuk? Only the rear entry Tuk Tuk have the legal big sized yellow bus/taxi plate. The new Suzuki, too.
But the side entry TukTuk have only a normal sized plate, also blue color for the letters/numbers.
Doesn't look like, they are real legal registered as TukTuk. So the DSI could take off over 500 thugs in one time. Btw, if they would look at every unscratched car, without special plates, but parking in the 'special' spots, they can easily find some thousand illegals, more!
The DSI will come with thousand or more officers, right?

Posted by Anonymous on July 20, 2013 08:11


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