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.
Kurt | 25 February 2023 - 11:29:49