About 20 arrests have been made so far. Many others are expected.
The Army, police and volunteers were today executing more than 100 arrest warrants and swooping on miscreants named during the investigation by the Department of Special Investigation and Phuket authorities that began in August last year.
The suspects are being taken to the Crime Crisis Centre at Phuket City Police Station and viewed by witnesses via security cameras from the safety of Phuket Police Headquarters, which is just around the corner. Once identified, formal charges will be laid.
The mayor was among the first to be arrested.
Eighty percent of parking spaces on public roads in Kata-Karon have been taken over by tuk-tuks and taxis and the drivers have pushed to take over from tour operators.
Resorts in the Phuket west coast tourist district are blockaded at the first sign of a non-authorised pickup.
It was a year ago on June 3, 2013, that Vice Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada chaired a meeting and pointedly asked the mayor: ''Are you brave enough to try to fix this problem here? Are you brave enough to change?''
The vice governor said that the tuk-tuk and taxi drivers were ''beating themselves.''
''You are eating fast but the meal will not last long,'' he added.
He said Phuket had all the laws it needed ''but we do not have law enforcement.''
He questioned whether the drivers cared about the feelings of tourists, the people on whom they depended for their income.
''You only seem to care about the money,'' he said. ''Taxi prices are high and the service is bad.''
He said he had just returned from three weeks in Europe. ''The fares are about the same here as they are there,'' he said. ''But the service there is much better.''
Solving the problems associated with tuk-tuks and taxis was Karon's number one issue, he said.
Similar problems in Chonburi had been fixed by the local authorities.
Karon was chosen in 2012 as the ideal place on Phuket to begin trials of a central call service for taxis so that the district's streets could be cleared. Drivers rejected the plan.
Soon after the meeting last year, Phuketwan dropped its ''Sweet Phuket Every Day'' motto and adopted the words of the vice governor, ''Brave Enough to Change.''