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.