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One of 16 Patong taxi huts scheduled for demolition as the task force closes in today. Interest is now turning to bank accounts and where the money comes from

Phuket Taxi Driver Has 100 Million Baht in Bank, Says Probe Chief

Friday, June 6, 2014
PHUKET: One of the taxi drivers incriminated in this week's investigations has more than 100 million baht in several bank accounts, the regional police chief overseeing the Phuket probe said today.

Region 8 Police Commander and Task Force Chief, Major General Panya Mamen, said more details will emerge now that the Anti-Money Laundering Office is involved in probing the network of Phuket's taxi and tuk-tuk ''mafia.''

The man with the accounts holding more than 100 million baht only worked as a taxi driver, Major General Panya said.

He added that witnesses in the extortion and intimidation cases against more than 100 Kata-Karon drivers would be given extra police protection.

''One witness came forward today to say one of their children had been approached at a school by a man,'' the major general said. ''Police are now seeking this man.

''Anyone on bail who approaches a witness or the family of a witness will swiftly find themselves back behind bars,'' he said. ''All police stations are providing witnesses and their families with additional security.

''We would like anyone who has information to come forward to ensure that justice is done.''

Another 13 people who have yet to be arrested have had their known bank accounts suspended, he said. Ninety-five people have already been apprehended, including the Mayor of Kata-Karon. Some have been allowed bail.

The cases already in process would be wrapped up and presented to the Phuket Public Prosecutor before July 15, he said, when the next part of the investigation would begin.

With the help of local Phuket councils, issues such as parking - taxis currently take out 80 percent of public spaces in Kata-Karon - and the excessive scale of fares are going to be reviewed.

''All the improvements to the Phuket service that we hope to bring about should be achieved with the help of local authorities by the next high season, starting in November,'' he said.

He hoped resort managers and their PR departments would make the point to their customers that law enforcement is being applied on Phuket and tourists are now more secure and safe than ever before.

Investigators from the Anti-Money Laundering Office had already picked up the first batch of files on Phuket so their forensic examination of bank accounts and financial affairs could begin.

Major General Panya said there were many honest taxi drivers on Phuket.

''Just a small proportion of the 3000 or 4000 drivers on Phuket were involved in intimidation and extortion,'' he added. ''Now is the time for the good drivers to start educating some of the others.''

The major general said that 16 huts used as bases by the tuk-tuk and taxi drivers in different parts of Phuket had been demolished. Brought down were 10 in Kata-Karon, four in Cherng-Talay, two in Kamala and one in Tachatchai.

Another 13 erected illegally on public land would be destroyed in the next few days, he said.

Patong is expected to be central to the focus of the next part of the investigation with witnesses invited to contact task force investigating chief Major General Praveen Pongsirin on 081 8936083.

Comments

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This continuing story is getting better by the minute...although I will say that any witnesses or their families being in danger is not good and hope they will be protected.

Posted by sky on June 6, 2014 16:47

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All drivers driving tuk-tuk, taxi, metered taxi, minibus are working as touts and are selling tours to get big commissions from tour-providers which is illegal as they do not have licenses from TAT.
Tourism associations such as ATUS, ATTA, Phuket Tourism Association, Tourism Guides Association should lodge official complaints for illegal businesses by those drivers who do not have guide licenses and are not registered with TAT Phuket.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on June 6, 2014 16:49

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100 million baht driving a taxi?...

now I know what I wanna be when I grow up

Posted by zig on June 6, 2014 17:23

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No wonder taxi driving is considered a good job!

Posted by Manowar on June 6, 2014 17:37

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"Another 13 erected illegally on public land would be destroyed in the next few days, he said."

Removal of a couple of salas was videoed in Karon today:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaltNlrOu4g

Posted by Smithy on June 6, 2014 19:16

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The cases already in process would be wrapped up and presented to the Phuket Public Prosecutor

Who he? Why not bring a big haning judge down from BKK? Let's get ser=ious!o

Posted by phonus balonus on June 6, 2014 20:59

Editor Comment:

Sounds like you prefer to impose your own warped version of the existing legal process, pb. The usual bs.

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Is this finally the winds of change we are seeing.... one can only hope so.

Posted by Graham on June 6, 2014 21:32

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If a driver has 100 million what will the main players have tucked away in property ,businesses interests and no doubt overseas bank accounts .They have had years to fill their pockets off the backs of honest people without fear of justice I hope they fling the book at them and cease their assets.

Posted by scunner on June 6, 2014 23:26

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Maybe we could start a taxi Driver's Top ten. My suggestions to start it off are:
1. I fought the Law and the Law won.
2. You Abandoned me, graft don't live here any more.
3. Run Rabbit.
4. Heaven Knows I'm miserable now.
5. Bad Boys, Bad boys what you gonna do when they come for you.
6. Rubber Bullets.

Posted by Mister Ree on June 7, 2014 10:57

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Thats 100 milion baht more than I have in my bank account.......

Posted by Financially Frree on June 7, 2014 11:38


Monday October 14, 2019
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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