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Five more drivers nabbed in Phuket taxi crackdown

Five more drivers nabbed in Phuket taxi crackdown

PHUKET: The campaign by the Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO) against who they consider illegal taxis drivers is continuing. Five more drivers were apprehended in the most recent round of checks conducted on Feb 22 in Cherng Talay. So far there has been no development in the ’peace talks’ between the PLTO and recently banned green plate taxis from outside Phuket, despite the office having promised to find a solution for them to become legal on the island again. This happened on Feb 9, more than two weeks ago from today.

By The Phuket News

Saturday 25 February 2023, 09:00AM

The PLTO officials chose Cherng Talay as the location for their hunt on Feb 22. Photo: PLTO

The PLTO officials chose Cherng Talay as the location for their hunt on Feb 22. Photo: PLTO

Officers from the PLTO, acting under instructions by PLTO Chief Adcha Buachan, staged yet another check on Feb 22. This time officials set up their checkpoint on Ban Don – Cherng Talay Rd, merely meters from Boat Avenue traffic lights. 

The PLTO did not specify if any police officers were present and none of them was present in the pictures posted after the check. Yet, one picture shows a man in a military-style uniform and a beret taking part in the inspection.

The check was conducted from 3pm to 6pm with officials inspecting not only green plate taxis and private vehicles with black and white plates, but also a school bus and a truck. The PLTO did not explain what led them to believe those drivers could provide illegal transportation services.

During the inspection five drivers were apprehended for violating the provincial order issued on Feb 3 and prohibiting taxi service on private cars (which had been illegall before) and green plate vehicles from other provinces (which had never been a crime before).

The PLTO said that three drivers were busted for driving private cars with commercial purposes and two were apprehended for providing service in Phuket while registered outside of the province. 

It has not been explained why the latter is now an offence and what tourists should do to get to Phuket International Airport from Khao Lak, Natai, or Ao Nang.

The most recent development in the negotiations between the PLTO and green plate taxi drivers dates back to Feb 9. The meeting on this day was also joined by Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Col Jirasak Siemsak.

Mr Adcha later revealed that the talks focused on how green plate cars registered outside Phuket may be able to operate on the island legally. He assured that his office also aimed at finding a satisfactory outcome for all parties involved.

However, despite Mr Adcha’s public comments after the meeting, the PLTO’s campaign to arrest and suspend driving licenses of taxi drivers whose vehicles are legally registered elsewhere continued in the days following.

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Kurt | 25 February 2023 - 11:29:49

Of two just one:  Or the Phuket transport cartel becomes more and more powerful and dictate doing, or PTLO is completely lost and acts not sense making in panic. Good question, how are taxis from other provinces now able to bring from there tourists to Phuket airport? No Thai thinking reigns supreme. That small minded provice thinking about persons transport, pathetic.

Mj | 25 February 2023 - 11:28:15

This will never end when the Government is tooooo weak.

JohnC | 25 February 2023 - 09:47:28

If taxis from those provinces can't 'work' anywhere on Phuket then surely the same thing applies to Phuket registered taxis wanting to take tourists to Khao Lak and other places from Phuket airport. What they need is the officials from Phang Nga province to set up check points at Sarasin Bridge and fine every Phuket taxi that tries to go on the mainland carrying passengers. Tit for tat...

Timothy | 25 February 2023 - 09:11:40

The PLTO taxi mafia is one of the things that people complain about the most of social media. Thousands of complaints over the years, yet they are allowed to continue. They are the scourge of Phuket. Now they have outlawed App taxis so they can continue to rip off people, drive like a-holes, cause crashes and get away scot free! FFS when will this mafia be stopped? 


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