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Legal metered taxis are in short supply at Phuket International Airport

Secret Phuket Crackdown Aims to Tame Illegal Taxis

Thursday, May 24, 2012
PHUKET: A secret week-long crackdown on illegal taxis on Phuket has led to more than 200 drivers being fined and warned they could face jail, Phuketwan can reveal today.

A special team of 10 Land Transport Department officers from Bangkok took part in the task force operation all over Phuket from May 16 to May 23.

''After the Phuket Games 2012 the Transport Department team will return to carry out Phase II of the crackdown,'' Phuket Land Transport's Deputy Director Wanta Pumararoskon said today. ''We have to do our job.''

More than 200 illegal ''black'' taxi drivers on Phuket were apprehended and fined as much as 2000 baht during the week-long crackdown, he said. Some of them could face jail terms of up to a month if they reoffend, he added.

Phuket has been made a special case as the Transport Department plans a Thailand-wide crackdown on illegal cabs from June 1.

The joint action with the Thai Royal Police was announced yesterday by the Director General of the Land Transport Department, Somchai Siriwatanachok.

He said that as of April 30, there were 101,718 registered taxis throughout Thailand: ''Many people don't have permission to drive taxis. We aim to crack down on illegal operators from June 1.''

Phuket has been made a special case because of the huge number of illegal taxis operating there, and the necessity to try to restore order before the Phuket Games 2012, which begins on Saturday.

Thousands of competitors, administrators and their families are travelling to Phuket for the Games, which run until June 5.

''During the national crackdown, if we find people driving taxis without proper permission, those drivers could be fined or fined and jailed, for up to a month,'' Khun Somchai said. Driving licences will also need to be produced.

People who rent illegal or legal taxis to those who are not entitled to drive them will be held to account as well, he said.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Well they obviously didn't go to Karon. Went there on Tuesday and the beach road was full of them. they wouldn't even allow me to park my car as "it's their road".

Posted by phuket madness on May 24, 2012 09:43


Well good luck with that, let's see in 6-12 months whether it was a success or not.

Posted by Bjarne on May 24, 2012 12:06


@phuket madness:
secret [...] crackdown on illegal taxis.

Posted by ??? on May 24, 2012 12:47


Fine them put them in jail and most of all impound the vehicles.They don't get there vehicles back until they are all legal.The 30 baht buses should also be fully road worthy.The Thai government needs to get there act together and stop pussyfooting around.Get them off the road.

Posted by monica on May 24, 2012 13:41


It makes no sense to involve the passengers. Most are tourists who would know a legal taxi from an illegal one.

Posted by Paoa on May 24, 2012 14:49


the problem is that even we have hunderts of taxis the price is a joke. there is so much competition but the price is still high and getting higher. it`s a rip off system with the goal to milk the farangs. unfair and this drivers act like they own the island. even they are not phuket born. my neighour who drive a ilegal taxi just bought a third car....

Posted by mike on May 24, 2012 20:53


Phuket Land Transport's Deputy Director Wanta Pumararoskon said today. "We have to do our job."

How refreshing.

Posted by Buster on May 24, 2012 23:23


You know, half the non-labeled taxi's are probably "legal" in some sense. If some of the tourist areas had a lot less taxi's the ones that are around would probably be a lot more happy with a lot more business. It's easy to get very cynical about the difference between "legal" and "illegal".

Posted by Ty on May 25, 2012 00:59


A police roadworthy check point impounding of dangerous vehs a check for appropriate permits and a weapon search of the veh would stamp out this tuk tuk madness tommorro! This crackdown will end about 2 mins after the games do then for the tuk tuk cartel be buisness as usual.

Posted by traveller on May 25, 2012 16:09

Thursday April 18, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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