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Patong Mayor Pian Keesin speaks out today about mafia allegations

Patong Mayor: Who Said I Am The Mafia?

Thursday, August 15, 2013
PHUKET: Patong Mayor Pian Keesin was defiant today in the wake of a Phuket investigation into scams and corruption. ''Who said I am the mafia?'' the mayor responded.

Renowned for his ability to be resilient, the long-term Phuket politician replied to questions after a budget meeting at Patong Council offices today.

''What have I done wrong?'' he said. ''If you want to speak straight about who is the mafia, it's the government people, not us.

''We don't have guns, we don't have gangsters, we don't have anything. We are not the mafia.''

He said that Pisona was his son's business and that he also had no connection with tuk-tuks and taxis.

''Do these people understand the problems in Patong and Phuket?'' he said, referring to the probe launched by the Department of Special Investigation with the Ministry of Tourism and Sport, local police and the Phuket administration.

''Do they understand what is going on? This has been going on for a long time already.

''If you come here, seeking money, you'll get the money. If you come here seeking to fix a problem, you've got a problem.''

When told a YouTube clip recently seen by Phuketwan showed time share touts referring to him as their boss and as ''the law,'' he said: ''Arrest them. They are nothing to do with me.''

Mayor Pian and his son Prab with three other individuals and groups running taxis were among the Phuket Target 11 named when DSI investigators arrived on Phuket on Friday.

Three of those named have launched defamation suits and Khun Pian, like his son, has asked whether the mafia are the people who pay the money, or the people who take it.

At least 14 government agencies are commonly known to take bribes from businesses in Patong.

The DSI has set up two Crime Crisis Centres on Phuket to listen to what residents, tourists and expats have to say about rip-offs, scams and extortion on Phuket.

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Ok we believe you, Sir. But would you care to explain something? Let's start with the Patong City sign.

Posted by Sean on August 15, 2013 11:46

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He somewhat has a point - the problem isnt just him or people like him but the people accepting these bribes are very much part of the problem. They are paid to bend the law or look the other way - if the DSI want this to succeed they need to go after everyone - bribe takers and givers - only that way will they succeed.

Posted by Ciaran on August 15, 2013 12:09

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" who is the mafia, it's the government people, not us. "

Uhm, when you are the Mayor of a City, YOU are the Government. Hello !

" This has been going on for a long time already "

Indeed it has and all this time you've been the Mayor, which makes it painfully obvious you have no intention to fix the problems whatsoever.

Posted by ThaiMike on August 15, 2013 12:11

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''If you come here, seeking money, you'll get the money. If you come here seeking to fix a problem, you've got a problem.''

Very soon we'll see DSI come for what. I still feel only smell of money (look another article about rising of fares for metered taxi)!

Posted by Slava on August 15, 2013 12:21

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"He said that Pisona was his son's business and that he also had no connection with tuk-tuks and taxis." What! Did I wake up on a different planet or is the Mayor a little confused. or a down right liar? What does he call being Patong Taxi Federation President?

Posted by lonewolf on August 15, 2013 12:23

Editor Comment:

Wrong. Prab Keesin has connections with the taxi federation. As an elected official, his father Pian is forbidden to have business connections of that kind.

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He said that Pisona was his son's business and that he also had no connection with tuk-tuks and taxis.

So, why his son is President of Patong Taxi Federation?
http://phuketwan.com/tourism/patong-tuk-tuk-fares-negiotate-code-12727/
...The federation's president, Preechavude Keesin, told Phuketwan that....

Posted by Whistle-Blower on August 15, 2013 12:25

Editor Comment:

The father and the son are two different people, WB. His son is entitled to lead his own life. Just because his father is mayor, you think he should stop doing whatever he wants to do? That's an interesting idea for a democracy.

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Raising the salary for Police, government employees etc would help to stop the temptation of taking bribes.

Posted by Fiesty Farang on August 15, 2013 13:20

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"if you come here seeking money, you'll get money. If you come here seeking to fix a problem, you've got a problem".

I can't believe the audacity of the man! He's offering a bribe for them to go away, and a threat if they don't! The sooner his evil empire is broken up, the better, preferably with him in jail.

Posted by jimbo on August 15, 2013 13:22

Editor Comment:

No, he just speaking in the broad sense about the thousands of people who come to Phuket to make money. I am constantly amazed at the Phuket application to the phrase: honi soit qui mal y pense. (''Evil be to he who evil thinks.'') Without evidence, the mayor is as innocent as you, jimbo.

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(moderated)

Posted by fakename on August 15, 2013 13:44

Editor Comment:

your comments won't be read or posted in future. We have no interest in know-nothings, especially those posing as know-alls.

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If you actually did your research Ed you would know that Pian 'handed over' his control of Pisona Group to his son when he was elected. His statements to that effect were in the public domain at the time. In reality we know the influence fathers have over their sons anywhere in the world. I guess its a bit difficult to be bias when you advertise Pisona Group establishments on your website though. Money does speak louder than words.

Posted by Mister Ree on August 15, 2013 13:45

Editor Comment:

You have a big mouth but no gumption, Mister Ree. Repeat your allegation in a public forum, using your real name, and we will sue you for defamation.
We've reported the details of the Keesin family for some time, without fear or favor. What appalls us is the lynch mob mentality among expats who set themselves up as judge and jury. Your opinion is as reliable as that of any KKK member in a white hood, with a noose in his hands.
This your 612th post at Phuketwan, Mister Ree, quite a few for someone unhappy with the way the site reports the news. Your 612th post is also, for obvious reasons, your last. Goodbye.

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'Who said I am the mafia?' he asked...

I am sure nobody dared to reply to this...

Khun Pian thinks he is not part of the government as Major and also not part of PISONA.

So what is his role?

Posted by Mr. K on August 15, 2013 13:45

Editor Comment:

He's the elected mayor, Mr K. Not a major. I suggest your research needs to be a bit more thorough.

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"honi soit qui mal y pense. (''Evil be to he who evil thinks.'')"
Correct would be 'shame to him who thinks evil of it'.

Posted by stevenl on August 15, 2013 14:04

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I see you've barred another commentator, Editor (Mister Ree). Getting rather sensitive lately, aren't we?
Whatever happened to freedom of expression? Not allowed on your "comments" column, obviously.

Posted by jimbo on August 15, 2013 15:44

Editor Comment:

Phuketwan's granting of ''freedom of expression'' to anonymous commenters comes with responsibilities. Most readers understand those responsibilities. The principle is to never say anything behind the mask of anonymity that you wouldn't be prepared to say in public, under your own name. The views of people who don't understand their responsibility and abuse the''freedom of expression'' we grant to them are not wanted. Why? because they're worthless.

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Ed, it may have ben reported incorrectly, but it clearly states, in the same sentence "he" as in his son. If there is a miss-understanding then it is in the way the story is written, which puts it clearly in your court, so this makes you WRONG not me.

Posted by lonewolf on August 15, 2013 16:06

Editor Comment:

And when you wrote ''What does he call being Patong Taxi Federation President?'' you added to the confusion. Which only goes to prove it's best not to jump to conclusions before checking.

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Ed, time after time you make the same comment about "anonymous" commenters and pretty much call them cowards for not using their really names, you forget 1) you are not using your name 2) many commenters have been banned, by you, so now they can not use their name... you come across as a real jerk sometimes.

Posted by lonewolf on August 15, 2013 16:14

Editor Comment:

Your criticism is unfair and unwarranted. We report events with accuracy and expect readers to have some understanding and appreciation of the truth as well. Loudmouths who simply think it's all about shouting offer no value. ''Real jerks'' who think it's all about petty point-scoring offer no value. Gratuitous insulters offer no value. And your opinion about us, lonewolf, offers no value.
The principle is, don't say anything you wouldn't be prepared to say in public using your real name.

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About real names: under the comments section it states name: (not required, displayed if provided). I use the name Pete for my posts but you also have my real full name as an e-mail heading so what's the problem?

Posted by Pete on August 15, 2013 16:42

Editor Comment:

The comments and the facts in them should be real. ie, intended to add to our collective knowledge. If you don't have a problem with that, we certainly don't.

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mafia isn't the problem, but nobodies who are on a powertrip and enjoying behaving like they are mafia, because they get away with their wrongdoings without anybody forcing them back into reality.

Posted by don lasagne on August 15, 2013 16:45

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(moderated)

Posted by lonewolf on August 15, 2013 16:58

Editor Comment:

Goodbye, Laurie.

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It must be impossible being a Major and not being involved, unless you do everything possible to change the situation. As he didn't do any changes and things got worse every day, there's only one option left.

Posted by Resident on August 15, 2013 17:59

Editor Comment:

It's up to the voters of Patong to make those kinds of decisions, Resident. Your guesses are not appropriate. Mayors everywhere are involved in making decisions, but they make those decisions without having business interests. The mayor of New York, for example, is a very rich man. But he and the Mayor of Patong are both obliged to obey similar rules. If you happen to be in touch with Patong voters, i suggest you ask them why the mayor has been in power for so long.

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Does mayor know what exactly happens inside go-go shows? Law breaking! Does he know what happens on the roads? Law breaking! Does he know what happens when you occupy public parking place where taxi stood? Law breaking! If he is good and honest (no accusations yet) what is his real responsibility and tasks according to law? If to do nothing, tell us who should be questioned about that?

Posted by Stranger on August 15, 2013 18:05

Editor Comment:

The mayor - along with the governor - has no control over the police. The chief commissioner of Thailand was on Phuket at the weekend and he's the man to fix any problems on Phuket to do with police. He has said Phuket will gain 700 more officers and a new level of professionalism.He says he will be sending a deputy commissioner to make sure Phuket gets what it needs.

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Sorry Ed but reading comments you actually allowed and your reactions looks like you are running scared from the DSI or the Patong Mayors Mafia please feel free to ban me as well as you are way out of order on this one, Thank You

Posted by watching on August 16, 2013 04:07

Editor Comment:

Changing your name every so often won't make you any more accurate, watching. We're not ''running scared'' of anybody - except perhaps a few extremely idiotic readers.
The problem is that we assumed all our readers understood the process of ''natural justice.'' Nobody has been charged in this investigation. It doesn't matter what people say in the bars of Patong. And we have certainly never acted unprofessionally. Yet accusations are flying in every direction, even our way.
Most readers are sensible enough to know that unless a person has been proved guilty of an offence, it's unfair and unjust to insinuate that they have committed one. In respecting the concept of allowing people to comment - ''freedom of expression'' - we've misjudged the intelligence of our readers. We've discovered that some of them not only don't understand ''natural justice,'' they also haven't got a clue about their responsibility to be fair.
The result: we won't make the same mistake again. You comment is the last one on this issue, and on similar future articles relating to this issue, we won't open Comments.


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