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Phuket Police Commander Pekad Tantipong intervenes in taxi dispute

Phuket Taxi Drivers Block Tourists: Warning from Police Chief

Tuesday, March 15, 2011
POLICE on Phuket are investigating a dispute between a tour company and local taxi drivers, with Phuket's Police Commander reminding the island's officers today that they must uphold the law and not succumb to pressure groups.

Two couples who wanted to go to see the world-renowned FantaSea show, Danish tourists visiting Phuket, found themselves at the centre of the continuing attempt by local taxi drivers to prevent competition and preserve their monopoly.

Responding to a booking, the Together Tour Agency sent a car from the Kata Jo group to pick up the four visitors and take them to the FantaSea show yesterday.

When the car arrived at the Baan Karon Resort, south of Patong, the Danish couples slipped into the vehicle for their evening out.

However, local taxi drivers surrounded the car, raised their voices, told the driver he could not take the tourists to FantaSea, and forced the four tourists to leave the car.

Surasak Janprasartporn, who runs Together Tour Agency, decided the time had come to complain to police. He told the driver: ''Tomorrow we are going to the police station to object to this behavior.''

The driver, Khun Surasak said today, said at first that he would be happy to complain at the police station.

But today, Khun Surasak found the driver harder to contact. When Khun Surasak did eventually raise the driver, he told Phuketwan, the man said he was happy to go to the police station - but only as a witness.

''I don't want to accuse anybody,'' he said. Khun Surasak went ahead and visited Chalong Police Station, lodging his objection to the behavior of the local taxi drivers.

He was told he could sue to recover the money, but as there was no assault on any party involved, it was difficult for the police to act.

Later today, having been informed about the incident, Police Commander Pekad Tantipong issued his advice to police at Phuket's eight stations to uphold the law.

''Phuket is a holiday destination and we cannot have tourists threatened,'' he said.

Khun Surasak said that the Danish couples involved were adults who understood what was happening and that the tour company was not to blame.

They realised that they were in the middle of a long-standing dispute, Khun Surasak said.

''What worries me is what could happen one of these days when young tourists fail to act coolly and calmly in the face of these thuggish tactics,'' he said.

And the two couples from Denmark? They walked some distance tonight from their resort, then caught a ride to see the FantaSea show they missed the prevous night.

They are unlikely to catch a local Phuket taxi ever again.
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Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Khun Surasak said that the Danish couples involved were adults who understood what was happening and that the tour company was to blame.

The tour company was to blame ?!?!? Just unreal..

Posted by LivinLOS on March 15, 2011 21:46

Editor Comment:

Thanks, that should say ''not''.

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'it was difficult for the police to act.'

Same old tiresome song and dance. But keep at it, Phuket! You are making Penang, Bali, Boracay, and many other beach destinations very happy, indeed.

Posted by Treelover on March 16, 2011 08:50

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while we're talking grammar.. this sentence stinks!!
"The driver, Khun Surasak said today, said at first that he would be happy to complain at the police station."

Posted by another steve on March 16, 2011 09:21

Editor Comment:

News here is free, Khun Editor said today, and so are your nits. Gift-horse happy readers never talk grammar.

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"He was told he could sue to recover the money, but as there was no assault on any party involved, it was difficult for the police to act."

Having a group of 'undesireables surround a car, raise their voices and 'force' them out of the car is not assault???

Posted by Jon on March 16, 2011 09:40

Editor Comment:

Anticipate a counter-suit. The tourists may not have had time to buckle their seatbelts.

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These guys are like spoiled children who have had it all their own way for too long.

Sadly there are no adults to scold them and get them back in line.

Due to car repairs I have been using public transport this last week and it is never a pleasant experience, just saying that a quoted fare is too high brings on a hostile response, usually by all the drivers present.

Posted by Soupdragon on March 16, 2011 13:04

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same results. different day. i see the police had about 50 officers sunday night in patong at various locations handing out helmet tickets. BIG PRIORITY.

Posted by john s on March 16, 2011 14:02

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Not one of them considers the impact to their own business. Who in their right mind would use these taxis knowing what they get up to? They do so much damage to themselves and the tourism industry here it will eventually kill it all together.

As Treelover rightly pointed out what people start visiting other destinations.

It makes you wonder how the Gov can say there are 'no dark influences' at work in Phuket when even the Police are afraid to sort out the problem.

Just like the JetSki scams this story will be played out over and over again.

Posted by Graham on March 16, 2011 14:11

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"He was told he could sue to recover the money, but as there was no assault on any party involved, it was difficult for the police to act. "

I would have to look up the relevant Thai laws if there is any, but in most countries when you restrict one's movements it's a serious crime called false imprisonment.

Posted by Zaphod on March 16, 2011 16:08

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Same ol same ol - and the Biggest Loser is.....PHUKET. Why do the cops "succumb to pressure groups"?? Ha ha, just like the Jetski saga, commission.
Sorry Chief, but it starts at the top.

Posted by Junior on March 23, 2011 15:00

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Together Tour Agency is an official registered tour company with a website at http://www.togethertour.com/
Taxi drivers fight to get customers because they get commission of 20-40% when dropping their customers at some tourism businesses.
There are real pests in Phuket and ruin legitimate businesses.
Police is doing nothing because many policemen are involve more or less in tourism businesses.
Local administrations will do nothing as those drivers vote for them during election; therefore local politicians are need them.
That's it.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on March 23, 2011 17:11


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