The four were caught at a checkpoint set up at the Sakhu-Nai Yang intersection on Thepkrasattri Rd in Mai Khao, south of Phuket International Airport, the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket) reported yesterday (Feb 7).
The PLTO has yet to report the arrests directly.
The officers stopped two ‘green plate’ taxis registered in Bangkok and two cars registered for private use, one registered in Bangkok and the other registered in Nakhon Si Thammarat, PR Phuket reported.
The PLTO will proceed with issuing fines and consider the suspension of the driver’s licenses, in accordance with the law, the report noted.
The illegal taxis reported yesterday follow the PLTO confirming that five illegal taxis were caught picking up and dropping off passengers at the airport last Friday (Feb 3).
PLTO officers conducted “random” inspections at the airport between 3pm and 7:30pm. The officers arrested one driver of a ‘green plate’ taxi registered in Bangkok and the drivers of four private cars that were being used as taxis, the PLTO reported.
Again, the PLTO noted that the five drivers were fined and that suspending their driver’s licenses was under consideration.
The crackdown on illegal taxis follows more than 100 Phuket ‘green plate’ taxi drivers staging a protest at Phuket Provincial Hall last Thursday (Feb 2).
In response to the protest, Vice Governor Anupap Rodkwan Yodrambam, “acting on behalf of the Governor of Phuket”, that same day issued a formal notice ordering all government agencies to take action against illegal taxi drivers in Phuket.
The notice made it clear that operating private cars as taxis was illegal, and that the Phuket Provincial Police and the PLTO were to “consider” revoking the driver’s licence and the vehicle registration of repeat offenders “as punishment as required by law”.
Police and the PLTO were instructed to take active measures in the matter, the notice said.
PLTO Chief Adcha Buachan was very quick to defend the action taken by the PLTO against illegal taxi drivers.
The PLTO had conducted intensive campaigns on social media warning people to not operate illegal taxis, he said.
“Further, from Sept 9, 2022 to Jan 31, 2023, we have acted on all 90 complaints received about this, with 33 cases resulting in fines, and [the remaining] 57 cases are still being processed,” Mr Adcha said.
“The PLTO will work with the Phuket Provincial Police to monitor and arrest illegal taxis and take strict legal action,” he added.
Mr Adcha invited people to report illegal taxis operating in their area by calling the taxi complaint hotline 1584, contacting the PLTO through its Line account @704jhnxb, through the PLTO Facebook page or by the Traffy Fondue application.
“The PLTO will investigate the facts and take further legal steps,” Mr Adcha assured.
Capricornball | 08 February 2023 - 12:22:42