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FLASH: Phuket mafia taxi investigators raid Karon municipal offices

FLASH: Phuket mafia taxi investigators raid Karon municipal offices

PHUKET: Police and anti-money laundering investigators, backed by heavily armed Navy marines, this morning (July 2) descended on the offices of the Karon Municipality.

By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Wednesday 2 July 2014, 12:40PM

They searched the offices of Mayor Thawee Thongcham, Deputy Mayor Itthiphon Sangkaew, the town clerk (palad) Veerasak Anek-ongsawat, and the planning department, headed by Wanchai Saetan.

All four officials, along with the other deputy mayor, Sompong Dapphet, are the focus of the investigation into influential people behind mafia taxi activities in Kata and Karon.

Officials found a number of personal bank account books belonging to the suspects and went through mounds of paperwork looking for connections between the suspects and taxi-related crimes. They also seized papers from the Social Security office.

In Veerasak’s office they found a solid-looking safe. In the absence of the only person with the keys – Veerasak – they sealed it with duct tape.

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When the investigators arrived they spotted Ittiphon about to leave. The Marines ordered him out of his car and back into his office.

Mayor Thawee was also requested to come to the office. The phone call reached him just in time; he was about to board a flight out of Phuket. He is now on his way back.

A great deal more action by the investigators is expected this afternoon.  

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