In a revealing interview, Major General Ong-art Phiwruangnont also said that the Thai Government has ordered the closure of all of Phuket's sex shows.
''I'll arrest everybody if they won't obey,'' Major General Ong-art told Phuketwan after a meeting at Phuket City's Crime Crisis Centre with top police from Bangkok and Phuket.
In a Q&A session in the aftermath of pop star Rihanna's extraordinary visit to Phuket and this week's arrest of the sex show owner, the commander made his view clear.
He forecast a different kind of Phuket - perhaps one of the reasons for his recent appointment. His comments will shock the lawless and be welcomed by most Phuket residents and expats.
What was today's meeting about?
It was about black [illegal] taxis. I will have some brochures created to warn all Phuket businesses to be concerned about the image of Thailand. I want to warn them not to be too greedy by intimidating the tourists, otherwise they might face the charge of extortion. All the taxi drivers who ask the tourists for 3000 baht or 5000 baht will surely be investigated. I'll send volunteers out disguised as tourists to catch and charge taxi drivers with extortion
Are you going to go in disguise too?
What nationality should I be? Cambodian perhaps, or maybe Lao (laughs). But they probably won't trust me because they know what I look like. We have to warn the drivers first, if they won't listen, then we have to be hooligans to catch hooligans. I plan to take care of that. I'm not afraid of anything. I've experienced a lot. I have one more year then I'll retire. I have to do it.
The government already insists "ABSOLUTELY NO SEX SHOWS", and at the conference meeting just now, Pol Gen Wut Liptapanlop [a senior Bangkok policeman] also said the same thing.
Absolutely no sex shows? Including the shows that aren't so revealing?
It depends on peoples' views. Some people may think it's artistry. But pulling things out [of an orifice] is too disgusting. But I think a topless show is reasonable for a tourism spot like Phuket. If I stop them, Phuket people might have a protest to clear me out of Phuket saying "This bastard stops all the tourism money to Phuket." We can't really do everything to enforce the law completely strictly. But don't worry, I believe the team and I can do enough.
So you will be stopping the sex shows?
About sex shows, if the police don't SPOIL them, if they arrest them right when they perform the show every time, how long can the sex show businesses last? If they can afford the fine, then go ahead. For example, if I arrest you for a sex show, the first time the court might fine you 10,000 baht. The second time you might have to go to jail. Then the third time you might have to stay in jail longer. That's how the court system runs. Police have the power.
Police have the power?
Of course. Otherwise the businesses won't dare do it.
Police spoil them?
I have already asked them to pick the appropriate targets. Just pick what you can target. Don't pick the whole thing. There are so many things at the buffet line, but pick what you can eat. Don't pick the unhealthy ones. If you eat and have diarrhea, are you still going to eat it? Right?
And what about Phuket's taxis?
I'll give brochures to all the resorts and warn them in person. And I have to ask police not to ask them for money. If anyone does that, I won't yield. I'll arrest everybody if they won't obey.
What about [Patong businessman] Prab Keesin?
His [media comments about corruption] came because he was angry at the police because they stopped him from things to do with his property business. Another person claimed that he was a representative of businesses, then another person claimed that he's an adviser. Then the press published it. May I ask you? Why do you guys in the press always destroy Phuket? When government people have a public release about positive things, why don't you guys publish it? You publish about local people having a public release. Always remember, until the last second, as long as I'm still the commander, I will not receive any money from anyone and I will not accept any invitation for any dining. I cook Isan food at home. I make sticky rice and fry dried beef. I eat very easy at home.
Phuketwan (old motto, ''Sweet Phuket, Every Day,'' new motto ''Brave Enough to Change Phuket'') always will be totally supportive of changes for the better on Phuket. All the news we publish is positive for Phuket's future.