Kata Rocks

Patong ‘Mr Big’ says Phuket tuk-tuk blockade is wrong

PHUKET: Patong business leader Preechawut “Prap” Keesin does not agree with the tuk-tuk drivers who blockaded Patong until the early hours of this morning (March 4) because this caused trouble for innocent tourists.

By Wiparatana Nathalang

Tuesday 4 March 2014, 03:16PM

Prap Keesin, in glasses, talks with tuk-tuk drivers last night.

Prap Keesin, in glasses, talks with tuk-tuk drivers last night.

Mr Prap spent time at the tuk-tuk barricades last night trying to calm things down. He told The Phuket News today, “This incident was sparked by misunderstanding on the part of the Patong police. The police tried run a sting on [yellow-plate tuk-tuk drivers] so they could arrest them.

“They [yellow-plate and green-plate taxis] were fighting for customers. Instead, they should have been talking to each other.

“There were two groups [of protesters]: the Sakol [Srisompotch] group who have been trying to stop people building their own illegal white-plate tuk-tuks.

“We tried asking the Governor [Maitri Inthusut] for help with this but there was no result. (See earlier story here).

“The other group was the tuk-tuk group of Bang Lee. He wanted the Kathu Police Superintendent, whom he accused of corruption, to resign.”

Mr Prap, who is a member of tha Kathu Police Oversight Committee, said he did not agree with this view.

He said that the procedures needed to solve the tuk-tuk drivers’ grievances will take time, with officials involved having to change some rules and regulations.

Mr Prap, son of Patong’s currently suspended Mayor Pian Keesin, is the owner of Pisona, a holding group whose interests include resorts, tour operations and limousine services. He is also the president of the Patong Taxi Federation, whose members include a large number of tuk-tuk drivers.



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