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Phuket police plan second wave of mass taxi-related arrests

Phuket police plan second wave of mass taxi-related arrests

PHUKET: Following the mass arrests of taxi drivers on June 4 that netted 110 people, including the Mayor of Karon, Tawee Thongcham, the police, backed by the Army, are preparing a second, similar, drive tomorrow (June 25).


By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Tuesday 24 June 2014, 10:46AM


Pol Maj Gen Paween Pongsirin, Commander of the General Staff Division.

Pol Maj Gen Paween Pongsirin, Commander of the General Staff Division.

This time the targets will be corrupt officials and politicians linked to the taxi and tuk-tuk industry.

Pol Maj Gen Paween Pongsirin, Commander of the General Staff Division, Provincial Police Region 8, told The Phuket News, “We are ready to move on the politicians and officials.”

He said that examination of bank accounts by police had revealed huge amounts of money. “The highest number we found in one account was more than B100 million,” he said.

“We will attack and arrest them, suddenly and immediately, tomorrow. In the afternoon we will hold a press conference to reveal the results.”

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He said that after the initial arrests on June 4 investigators from the Anti Money Laundering Office had found “huge” amounts of money connected to “mafia” taxi drivers and their masters.

On June 9, Gen Paween’s boss, Regional Commissioner Lt Gen Panya Mamen, put the amount of money discovered in arrested taxi drivers’ accounts at “hundreds of millions of baht” and said that police believe much of this money was obtained dishonestly, and there may be a lot more out there.

“Collecting of background information will be clear in two or three weeks. Some of [the taxi drivers] may be worried about us seizing their assets and may have transferred money to other accounts. If we detect them doing this, then they will be charged.”

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