A SALA for taxi drivers in Kamala was among the first to be pulled down today, with the assistance of police from Ranong province who came to Phuket to help the task force. Kata-Karon Mayor Tawee Tongcham was allowed bail of 100,000 baht at 2am. Photos by Kamala Reporter
PHUKET: All of Phuket's municipal councils have today been ordered to demolish huts and salas used by taxi and tuk-tuk drivers on public land as the move against the ''untouchables'' spreads over the whole island.
The order was delivered by Region 8 Police Commander and Task Force Chief Major General Panya Mamen as he overrode years of inaction by local Phuket authorities.
Seventy-three arrests were made yesterday in the campaign to break the grip of the drivers on the holiday island, with the campaign by 1150 soliders, police and volunteers to continue today. Those arrested yesterday are likely to appear in court today.
A total of 236 people and 233 vehicles are on the task force hit list.
Eleven illegal taxi ranks among the 287 on Phuket are the first to be visited by the law enforcement team. The numbers of people named and to be arrested are in brackets following the rank name:
Club Med (17) Avista (15) Peach Hill (14) Casa Del Sol (20) The Old (31) Centara Grand (18).
Doubletree by Hilton (19) Best Western (19) Dala (16).
Cape Sienna (21)
Holiday Inn (46)
Other resorts around Phuket have been invited to lodge complains with the task force through the leader of the investigation, Major General Praveen Pongsirin, on 081 8936083.
He and his team have spent the past three months investigating Phuket taxi and tuk-tuk drivers and their links to suspect local authorities.
Elected officials who have aided and abetted the taxi and tuk-tuk drivers will face prosecution by the Office of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission.