Tourism News

Tourism News Phuketwan Tourism News
facebook recommendations


Sign up now for our News Alert emails and the latest breaking news plus new features.

Click to subscribe

Existing subscribers can unsubscribe here


Prab Keesin: who is the mafia, those who take or those who give?

Who Are Phuket's Mafia, Givers or Takers?

Saturday, August 10, 2013
PHUKET: Patong businessman Prab Keesin, named by the Department of Special Investigation in its crime-busting Phuket Target 11, hit back last night at his accusers.

He appeared to be calling on the DSI to investigate 14 Government authorities and organisations said to take bribes in Patong.

''In Phuket we don't have any mafia,'' he said. ''We just work to make a living. The question I would like to ask the DSI is, who is the mafia?

''Is the mafia the people who take or the people who give? You have to give meaning to this word first.''

Prab Keesin runs a resort and several entertainment businesses and also oversees some of Patong's tuk-tuks.

He said that four names or groups of the list of 11 provided yesterday by DSI Chief Major General Tharit Pengprasert were connected to him:

..the Jungceylon tuk-tuk rank (it's at the side, not at the front)

..Limosine Call Center Ltd

..the listing of hs own name

..the listing of his father, Pian Keesin, Mayor of Patong

The hand-written list was presented to the media by Major General Tharit yesterday. As well as several taxi ranks on Phuket, also named were San Jalernjid, Thammawat Wongjalernyot and Siwa Singyong.

Major General Tharit said that one of the people on the list would have fraud charges pressed against them within 30 days.

In an interview with Phuketwan in 2010, Prab Keesin said when asked about corruption:

''When we talk about corruption in Patong, we have to talk about the whole world. Every country has it the same. Between business and the law, they work together. There is give and take. Patong is Patong.

''Police do not accept drugs. The thing is 50-50 between business and government. They do not allow bad things. I think it is bad, but sometimes we have to understand. The city is changing, but the law is very old.

''We need to have income for education, good health, and generally, corruption is not too bad. But we do not want more. We should change the law to avoid corruption. It's like a secret.

''Nobody knows who takes the money. Nobody knows the exact number. It has happened for 200 years already. The corruption in Patong is like a ghost: never seen, but we know it's there.''

Two months earlier, at a public meeting, Weerawit Kuresombut, President of the Entertainment Association in Patong, said that local venues were prepared to continue to make corrupt payments to 14 government offices and branches - but that was enough.

Requests from three additional government bodies to also gain under the table payments have the Phuket venues throwing up their hands saying, in effect: ''We can tolerate corruption, but anything beyond 14 organisations is just plain greedy.''

Prab Keesin last night appeared to be challenging the DSI to look at the 14 government organisations commonly believed to take bribes.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


so now is the time for all business paying bribes to point the finger at which agencies are taking the money, only then will there start to be a big clean up on phuket

Posted by Gt on August 10, 2013 10:05


A new broom is needed to sweep the whole lot away. Let's hope the DSI is that broom. Just because it's happened for 200 years doesn't mean it should still happen today. Prab's cocky smile and comments suggest he is part of the problem and not the solution. I dispute his comments about it 'happening like this all over the world.' It just isnt true anymore. I am not so naive as to suggest corruption doesn't happen in the West - it surely does at high level. The problem here is the acceptance of corruption at all levels; from parking attendants right up to the police and judiciary. All departments everywhere. This was addressed in the UK by giving officials a pay rise coupled with a promise that if they were caught accepting bribes they WOULD go to jail. Guaranteed. What I think all Thai people need to understand is that corruption is stopping their country developing. It is holding it back. It is not OK anymore. You wanna be the poor guy in ASEAN - go right ahead keep things the way they have always been. A tradition. Like say, slavery or putting boys up chimneys which we abolished 150 years ago. STOP this corruption, DON'T accept it. Fight for your country to develop to the potential it has. Thailand could and should be a powerhouse of Asia where EVERYONE'S life improves, not just those who have their fingers in many pies. The future direction, mindset and ethics rest in what the DSI achieves this week!

Posted by Mr Man on August 10, 2013 10:19


Finally someone understood (better say has the courage to clearly admit) that most of the problems come from the top!!! It is just the first step, but I have to say (because I always was skeptical) that is a very big step...

Posted by dave on August 10, 2013 10:26


@Mr Man - quite agree with you, well written. Its time we ALL said no to corrupt payments, tourist and thai alike.

Posted by jimbo on August 10, 2013 12:14


I hate to say it, but I have to agree with what he said about who the mafia is "the givers or the takers". Maybe all that will be sorted shortly when they start arresting and those taxi guys sing like canaries.

Posted by Ryan on August 10, 2013 13:31



Posted by FS on August 10, 2013 15:44

Editor Comment:

If you have other sources, I suggest you stick with them, FS. But you'll be a couple of days at least behind the rest of us.


I was a weeks before you with the farang killing in soi sansabai.

Posted by FS on August 10, 2013 16:53

Editor Comment:

Yes, but you have yet to tell us his name and his nationality.


Mafia is quite a sensitive term on this forum. Strictly spoken ED is right, there is no real Siciliana style organisations like that on Phuket.
Joan Boer, the Dutch ambassador to Thailand however speaks of loads of Mafia style practices including involvement of local politicians in Phuket in one of Holland's largest national newspapers.
In summary: Theoretically no Mafia in Phuket; Practically one could not notice the difference.
Run embedded link thru translate for details.

Posted by Jan Peter G. on August 11, 2013 11:57


Is he really saying we should legalize corruption. That way no laws are broken so there is no problem?

Posted by Tuna on August 11, 2013 14:24


Slavery was legal for hundreds of years. Just because a thing has happened in the past does not make it OK today.

Posted by Arthur on August 11, 2013 17:38

Editor Comment:

Slavery ended (with a few notable exceptions) and so will corruption. But not according to the Doomsayers. I guess there were plenty of them in the days of slavery, too. (''Nothing will ever change.'')


That DSI web site Email form is in Thai only as is most of the site and the email address comes back as invalid.

Posted by Naysay on August 11, 2013 18:14

Editor Comment:

Yes, and the centre at Phuket City Police Station was closed today and will probably be closed until Tuesday.


That DSI web site Email form is in Thai only as is most of the site and the email address comes back as invalid.

Posted by Naysay on August 11, 2013 18:14

Editor Comment:

Yes, and the centre at Phuket City Police Station was closed today and will probably be closed until Tuesday.

Ed- So it's hit the ground running and full speed ahead??

Posted by eddy on August 11, 2013 20:10

Editor Comment:

The expectation always was that the airport centre would open first and the Phuket City office would open later. I wouldn't allow cynicism to compound your problems, eddy.

Thursday May 23, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


Facebook Twitter