Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: A sting operation involving an undercover Patong Police officer disguised as a taxi driver put two men operating a hotel taxi queue behind bars yesterday.

Pamorn Maipuek, 40, and Narathid Wangaree, 27, were charged for threatening the plainclothes officer, who was attempting to pick up guests at Avista Hideway Resort and Spa at about 7pm.

“We had a team of officers on standby and had Lt Sakson Prakapsin pick up guests at the hotel without a ticket voucher – as we wanted to observe how the taxi drivers would react,” Patong Police Deputy Superintendent Paisarn Sangthep told the Phuket Gazette.

A hotel security guard stopped Lt Sakson’s car at the entrance of the hotel, so he could inform the hotel staff that the taxi had arrived.

“While Lt Sakson was waiting, Mr Pamorn and Mr Narathid approached him, checking for a ticket voucher,” Lt Col Paisarn said. “Because he didn’t have a ticket, the drivers told him that he couldn’t pick up guests at the hotel. They claimed to operate the taxi queue in that area.”

The drivers then started to threaten Lt Sakson.

“They said that if he tried to pick up any guests in the area without a voucher he would have a problem with them,” Col Paisarn said.

To prevent the situation from escalating further, a team of Patong Police officers rushed in and arrested both men.

The men were charged with section 309 of the Criminal Code, which carries a penalty of up to three years imprisonment, a 60,000 baht fine or both.

The Department of Special Investigations launched a similar sting operation in November (story here).

In that operation, a taxi driver tried to force a DSI officer out of his vehicle, but no arrest was made. However, Somboon Sarasit, head of the DSI’s Bureau of Special Crime Unit 3, believes enough evidence was gathered to gain approval from Bangkok to add the case to the DSI investigation list.
– Thawit Bilabdullar

1

Send the same team to Serenity Terraces Rawai or the Chalong Police team and let them do their stuff. "TAXI TERRORISTS" are there in full strength, on guard and aggressive.

Posted by lizardofoz December 30, 2013 01:52:30PM

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2

Great Job.

Posted by Ling December 30, 2013 01:56:41PM

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3

"The men were charged with section 309 of the Criminal Code, which carries a penalty of up to three years imprisonment, a 60,000 baht fine, or both." We hope they will be sentenced to jail with heavy fines to deter other taxi drivers from intimidating tourists and tour operators when they pick up customers.

Posted by Asterix December 30, 2013 02:43:24PM

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4

The Patong Police should now repeat this operation in about 50 other locations and jail all the thugs operating as taxi drivers.

Posted by Chas December 30, 2013 03:06:58PM

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5

Well done to the police! This sort of proactive investigation is what is needed to rid us of these petty 'stand over' merchants who give Thailand such a bad name.

Posted by Chob December 30, 2013 03:59:16PM

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6

Now that's a good start! It will be very interesting to see if they go to jail or pay the fine or "arrange" for a discharge. Please, PG, follow this up to its ultimate conclusion so we all know how effective the police can be with these taxi drivers.

Posted by Dave December 30, 2013 04:35:11PM

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7

Send the same team to Serenity Terraces Rawai or the Chalong Police team and let them do their stuff. "TAXI TERRORISTS" are there in full strength, on guard and aggressive.

Posted by lizardofoz

Well, these arrests are very encouraging indeed. Maybe - just maybe - they actually are trying to make a dent in the problem. Why is it that so many commenting here mention Serenity Terraces? Are the drivers worse in that place than anywhere else?

Posted by Nosey December 30, 2013 05:19:02PM

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8

Great Job.

Posted by Ling

Absolutely! Let us pray for more of this. Time to SHUT DOWN the thugs.

Posted by Fed Up with the Thugs December 30, 2013 05:20:59PM

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9

PG. Please follow up with the results of the arrest. Were they fined? How much? Were they sent to jail? How long? Or did they receive a slap on the hand and just let go? As they usually are?

Posted by Jim December 30, 2013 05:37:50PM

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10

Get rid of them all.

Posted by stevie cruise December 30, 2013 06:58:21PM

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11

"The men were charged with section 309 of the Criminal Code, which carries a penalty of up to three years imprisonment, a 60,000 baht fine, or both." We hope they will be sentenced to jail with heavy fines to deter other taxi drivers from intimidating tourists and tour operators when they pick up customers.

Posted by Asterix

Both would be a real good option! If they do everywhere where black plates are to spot in line with yellow and green plates, it would clear up a bit. How about the metered taxi with flashing blue/red lights in the grill that crossed Kata yesterday? 'Undercover' or impersonating? And the '4U taxi rank'? The driver (on blue/blacks) make even yellow plated tuk-tuks passing beckoning people in viewing distance.

Posted by AFriend December 30, 2013 08:17:39PM

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12

Great Job.

Posted by Ling

Absolutely! Let us pray for more of this. Time to SHUT DOWN the thugs.

Posted by Fed Up with the Thugs

Pray! But don't hold your breath, please. My assumption: they did this because they had no tea hour scheduled. And as we all could read, every now and then, there is some statistic to fill. Following a name list that got created by the controlled businesses. Happy new year! But same old stories.

Posted by AFriend December 30, 2013 08:23:22PM

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13

About time and good work from the Police. This is the sort of work that will gain a lot of respect if continued everywhere around the island. My wife and I have been threatened by the tuk-tuk mafia for parking in a public place, telling us our truck will not look the same when we return. I hope there are no slaps on the wrists for these thugs and that they are dealt with harshly.

Posted by The Original Steve December 31, 2013 12:40:43AM

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14

Unfortunately, these 2 taxi men probably don't know what they did wrong – this is the way they have been taught to do business for several generations. The whole tourism infrastructure here needs to be rebuilt, re-educated and regulated – from taxis, buses, tours, water sports, tour boats, beach activities, bars, et al. The Thai charm, 'cuteness' and 'anything goes' attitude can wear thin after awhile.

Posted by vegasd8 December 31, 2013 09:49:30AM

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15

That's the right way to proceed. Great job!

Posted by Michel de Lastelle December 31, 2013 09:59:56AM

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16

Promising stuff by the police, keep up the good work! Since having a traffic cone thrown at my car by a shouting-angry half naked taxi driver outside the Kata Palm resort last year, I protect myself by arranging with friends and clients to meet a little up the road from the hotels with make-shift taxi camps outside their entrances! Would be good to see the police doing undercover stings in Kata, Karon and Rawai.

Posted by Vladdy December 31, 2013 10:45:51AM

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17

According to TV 11, they have already been released and will not be prosecuted.

Posted by Jonny December 31, 2013 02:43:56PM

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18

According to TV 11, they have already been released and will not be prosecuted.

Posted by Jonny

The circle of life, on Phuket. You don't kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. You only remind it, sometimes, where to put them.

Posted by AFriend December 31, 2013 08:14:10PM

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19

It is all a good move, but just creates a new problem. It was very noticable over the last few days. Instead of the tuk-tuks waiting their turn at the designated stops, they now race around in circles around the Bangla area, hooting like crazy to attract customers' attention, adding to the congestion and the noise. They will carry on doing this unless there is a way to only allow them to leave their ranks if they have customers.

Posted by Hannes de Vos January 2, 2014 10:31:10AM

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20

It is all a good move, but just creates a new problem. It was very noticable over the last few days. Instead of the tuk-tuks waiting their turn at the designated stops, they now race around in circles around the Bangla area, hooting like crazy to attract customers' attention, adding to the congestion and the noise. They will carry on doing this unless there is a way to only allow them to leave their ranks if they have customers.

Posted by Hannes de Vos

Very interesting, very believable, and (apparently) very much unforeseen. What you've described is a mass protest, so I agree with you that "they will carry on doing this" until they get whatever they want. Would that be getting their old illegal parking places back?

Posted by PG Reader January 2, 2014 11:15:37AM

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20

It is all a good move, but just creates a new problem. It was very noticable over the last few days. Instead of the tuk-tuks waiting their turn at the designated stops, they now race around in circles around the Bangla area, hooting like crazy to attract customers' attention, adding to the congestion and the noise. They will carry on doing this unless there is a way to only allow them to leave their ranks if they have customers.

Posted by Hannes de Vos

Very interesting, very believable, and (apparently) very much unforeseen. What you've described is a mass protest, so I agree with you that "they will carry on doing this" until they get whatever they want. Would that be getting their old illegal parking places back?

Posted by PG Reader January 2, 2014 11:15:37AM

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0    0

19

It is all a good move, but just creates a new problem. It was very noticable over the last few days. Instead of the tuk-tuks waiting their turn at the designated stops, they now race around in circles around the Bangla area, hooting like crazy to attract customers' attention, adding to the congestion and the noise. They will carry on doing this unless there is a way to only allow them to leave their ranks if they have customers.

Posted by Hannes de Vos January 2, 2014 10:31:10AM

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0    0

18

According to TV 11, they have already been released and will not be prosecuted.

Posted by Jonny

The circle of life, on Phuket. You don't kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. You only remind it, sometimes, where to put them.

Posted by AFriend December 31, 2013 08:14:10PM

Reply

0    0

17

According to TV 11, they have already been released and will not be prosecuted.

Posted by Jonny December 31, 2013 02:43:56PM

Reply

0    0

16

Promising stuff by the police, keep up the good work! Since having a traffic cone thrown at my car by a shouting-angry half naked taxi driver outside the Kata Palm resort last year, I protect myself by arranging with friends and clients to meet a little up the road from the hotels with make-shift taxi camps outside their entrances! Would be good to see the police doing undercover stings in Kata, Karon and Rawai.

Posted by Vladdy December 31, 2013 10:45:51AM

Reply

0    0

15

That's the right way to proceed. Great job!

Posted by Michel de Lastelle December 31, 2013 09:59:56AM

Reply

0    0

14

Unfortunately, these 2 taxi men probably don't know what they did wrong – this is the way they have been taught to do business for several generations. The whole tourism infrastructure here needs to be rebuilt, re-educated and regulated – from taxis, buses, tours, water sports, tour boats, beach activities, bars, et al. The Thai charm, 'cuteness' and 'anything goes' attitude can wear thin after awhile.

Posted by vegasd8 December 31, 2013 09:49:30AM

Reply

0    0

13

About time and good work from the Police. This is the sort of work that will gain a lot of respect if continued everywhere around the island. My wife and I have been threatened by the tuk-tuk mafia for parking in a public place, telling us our truck will not look the same when we return. I hope there are no slaps on the wrists for these thugs and that they are dealt with harshly.

Posted by The Original Steve December 31, 2013 12:40:43AM

Reply

0    0

12

Great Job.

Posted by Ling

Absolutely! Let us pray for more of this. Time to SHUT DOWN the thugs.

Posted by Fed Up with the Thugs

Pray! But don't hold your breath, please. My assumption: they did this because they had no tea hour scheduled. And as we all could read, every now and then, there is some statistic to fill. Following a name list that got created by the controlled businesses. Happy new year! But same old stories.

Posted by AFriend December 30, 2013 08:23:22PM

Reply

0    0

11

"The men were charged with section 309 of the Criminal Code, which carries a penalty of up to three years imprisonment, a 60,000 baht fine, or both." We hope they will be sentenced to jail with heavy fines to deter other taxi drivers from intimidating tourists and tour operators when they pick up customers.

Posted by Asterix

Both would be a real good option! If they do everywhere where black plates are to spot in line with yellow and green plates, it would clear up a bit. How about the metered taxi with flashing blue/red lights in the grill that crossed Kata yesterday? 'Undercover' or impersonating? And the '4U taxi rank'? The driver (on blue/blacks) make even yellow plated tuk-tuks passing beckoning people in viewing distance.

Posted by AFriend December 30, 2013 08:17:39PM

Reply

0    0

10

Get rid of them all.

Posted by stevie cruise December 30, 2013 06:58:21PM

Reply

0    0

9

PG. Please follow up with the results of the arrest. Were they fined? How much? Were they sent to jail? How long? Or did they receive a slap on the hand and just let go? As they usually are?

Posted by Jim December 30, 2013 05:37:50PM

Reply

0    0

8

Great Job.

Posted by Ling

Absolutely! Let us pray for more of this. Time to SHUT DOWN the thugs.

Posted by Fed Up with the Thugs December 30, 2013 05:20:59PM

Reply

0    0

7

Send the same team to Serenity Terraces Rawai or the Chalong Police team and let them do their stuff. "TAXI TERRORISTS" are there in full strength, on guard and aggressive.

Posted by lizardofoz

Well, these arrests are very encouraging indeed. Maybe - just maybe - they actually are trying to make a dent in the problem. Why is it that so many commenting here mention Serenity Terraces? Are the drivers worse in that place than anywhere else?

Posted by Nosey December 30, 2013 05:19:02PM

Reply

0    0

6

Now that's a good start! It will be very interesting to see if they go to jail or pay the fine or "arrange" for a discharge. Please, PG, follow this up to its ultimate conclusion so we all know how effective the police can be with these taxi drivers.

Posted by Dave December 30, 2013 04:35:11PM

Reply

0    0

5

Well done to the police! This sort of proactive investigation is what is needed to rid us of these petty 'stand over' merchants who give Thailand such a bad name.

Posted by Chob December 30, 2013 03:59:16PM

Reply

0    0

4

The Patong Police should now repeat this operation in about 50 other locations and jail all the thugs operating as taxi drivers.

Posted by Chas December 30, 2013 03:06:58PM

Reply

0    0

3

"The men were charged with section 309 of the Criminal Code, which carries a penalty of up to three years imprisonment, a 60,000 baht fine, or both." We hope they will be sentenced to jail with heavy fines to deter other taxi drivers from intimidating tourists and tour operators when they pick up customers.

Posted by Asterix December 30, 2013 02:43:24PM

Reply

0    0

2

Great Job.

Posted by Ling December 30, 2013 01:56:41PM

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0    0

1

Send the same team to Serenity Terraces Rawai or the Chalong Police team and let them do their stuff. "TAXI TERRORISTS" are there in full strength, on guard and aggressive.

Posted by lizardofoz December 30, 2013 01:52:30PM

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0    0

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