Phuket Provincial Police Chief Maj Gen Sermphan Sirikong ordered an investigation into an incident that occurred late on Friday evening at a taxi rank outside Central Phuket where a disagreement between taxi operators ensued.
A video of the incident was posted on social media shortly afterwards with a video clip entitled “Expose the Phuket taxi mafia”.
The incident entailed a Bangkok-registered taxi picking up passengers outside the popular department store close to the service point of the Andaman Phuket Car Taxi Service Cooperative Limited.
The head of the cooperative, Somphon Nuklai, and several of his colleagues approached the Bangkok-registered vehicle to inquire why it has stopped in their designated area and why it was picking up passengers from the site.
At one point the video shows the representatives of the cooperative opening the Bangkok-registered taxi’s passenger door several times, seemingly to ask the passengers inside to alight the vehicle, which they did not at any point.
The cooperative representatives also raised the point with the driver of the taxi that vehicles registered outside of the province of Phuket were not permitted to operate in the area, to which the driver of the Bangkok-registered vehicle acknowledged and apologised for.
However, the video then clearly showed the vehicle driving off with all the passengers inside.
Following further investigation, it was revealed that the driver of the Bangkok-registered vehicle was 40-year-old Wisanu Prasertsap who, when contacted, had presented himself to Wichit police and explained that he had travelled from Bangkok and was staying at his wife’s house in Talad Yai.
Mr Wisanu further explained that he had indeed picked up a group of Romanian passengers outside Central Phuket who he took to a drop-off point in Patong.
An unnamed representative from the Andaman Phuket Car Taxi Service Cooperative also joined Mr Wisanu and police to discuss the situation in the hope of clarifying and reaching a negotiation.
The representative from Andaman Phuket Car Taxi Service Cooperative corroborated events that were shown in the video and confirmed that Mr Somporn and five colleagues had approached Mr Wisanu to discuss the misunderatnding; the five colleagues were confirmed as Phakdee Thipphakdee and Teerasuwat Kraitat, who both opened the door on Mr Wisanu’s taxi, Thanuthong Paya, Burupon Khaikaew and Ruechakorn Kraiplong, who was the person filimg the incident on his mobile phone.
The Andaman Phuket Car Taxi Service Cooperative representative explained that their understanding was no vehicles registered outside of Phuket were permitted to pick up passengers in the province, which is why they approached Mr Wisanu to challenge him.
In response Mr Wisanu confirmed that neither he or his passengers were intimidated or threatened in any way and as such he did not feel it necessary to lodge any form of formal complaint. He also confirmed he fully understood their aggrievance and would take note in future.
Police agreed that the actions of the members of the Andaman Phuket Car Taxi Service Cooperative did not pose any threat and therefore no criminal offence had occurred, adding that if there was a repeat incident in future that it should be reported to the local police immediately. In this instance, however, both parties had aired their grievances and understood the others’ point of view and, as such, the incident could be laid to rest, police confirmed.
Pooliekev | 28 March 2023 - 11:51:52