A press conference is under way now to give the press more details, along with the names of those arrested.
Pol Maj Gen Paween Pongsirin, who has led the drive to smash Patong’s taxi mafia was delighted. Smiling and laughing, he told The Phuket News after the raids, “It is like short movie. The movie is called Catch Me If You Can.
"I believe police will arrest the remainder in time. Being on the run is a hard thing to do. The offenders will be tired, worried and unable to sleep.”
In the meantime, the names of 27 prime targets have been released. They are:
From Pisona Co Ltd: Ex-mayor Pian Keesin, his sons Preechawut and Patawee, Shanon Fongla’ae, Setasak Buasorn, Wichai Maisritong, Chumpon Sae’Tan, Yodlak Geuanoon and Nattaphum Tongkao.
Eighty-five officers under the command of Pol Col Aroon Klaewatee were allocated to apprehend the nine.
From the Baansuan Taxi Queue: Worrawat Neenpapa, Wiwat Prayounpong, Pantipa Ruanghong, Padetgarn Kongtong, Kooson Changlek, Adichart Tinkohyao, Monton Pohwang, Prakit Sae’Eung and, again, Wichai Maisritong
Lt Col Sorapong Chookaew and 20 officers was tasked with arresting this group.
From Patong car rental group: Jatupon “Koh Kui” Teuantin, Supornchai “Tu” Teuantin, Manop Teuantin, Bancha Teuantin, Kamneung “Jiab” Srinark, Somsak “Bow” Suanson, Sataporn “Nui” Gaetsuwan, Jaroen “Larm” Teuantin, Manot Singha and Apinan “Tin” Wandee.
Lt Col Thammasan Boonsong led another 20 officers trying to arrest members of this group.
The remaining 56 people for whom arrest warrants were issued are all wanted for taking part in the tuk-tuk protest that paralysed Patong on March 4.