Lt Col Pongpob Prasobphichai of the Phuket City Traffic Police told The Phuket News today (Aug 17) that he and a team of officers went to the scene yesterday evening after receiving complaints from the public that the men were collecting money as if they were city council workers.
“We arrived there at 6:15pm and saw the four men waving drivers in and out of parking spaces,” Col Pongpob said.
“The men did not threaten anyone and made no claims to be working for the city municipality. One of them had an ID tag around his neck, but it was only his Thai citizen ID card,” he said.
Col Pongpob noted that none of the complaints received reported any acts of intimidation, but officers took the four men in for questioning.
The men were named as Sombet Prasatsan, 47, Adisak Reuthong, 34, and Apichart Na Nakorn, 20, all from Phuket; and Jakkri Niemthong, 25, from Phang Nga.
“We brought them to Phuket City Police Station and made a record of the incident. We also checked their backgrounds, but none of them have criminal records,” he said.
“The men explained that they were just making some extra money by chance after they finish full-time jobs each day, as there are no municipal workers there for collecting parking fees after 6pm,”he added.
As such, Col Pongpob said police were powerless to take any action against the men.
“All they do is help people to park. People don’t have to pay them anything, and if they do intimidate anyone, people can call 191 and we will charge them,” he said.