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Police rule taxi drivers ‘both right’, another misunderstanding

Police rule taxi drivers ‘both right’, another misunderstanding

PHUKET: Police investigating the taxi drivers involved in the incident at Ratsada Pier last Friday (Sept 2), which saw four tourists forced to disembark one van to use another taxi, have now come to the understanding that the incident was the result of yet another misunderstanding.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Monday 5 September 2022, 05:44PM

Following questioning of the two drivers involved in the incident, Pol Col Pichetpong Jangklaikom, Chief of the Tourist Police Region 3 branch, based in Phuket, said that both drivers were in the right.

The van driver who picked up the tourists, Chatrapon Misinpanitanon, 45, had every right to pick up the tourists at the entrance to the pier, Col Pichetpong said.

The tourists had booked Mr Chatrapon as their taxi driver through an app, he confirmed.

Meanwhile, police had also deemed that Ekachai Decha, 37, the man who physically stopped the van from departing the pier with the four tourists, as also “in the right”, as Mr Ekachai worked for “Ratsada VIP”, a taxi services company that had signed a concession with ferry operator Seatran.

The concession allowed Ratsada VIP to provide taxi services to Seatran passengers disembarking at the pier. Mr Ekachai was of the understanding that meant Ratsada VIP had exclusive rights to all passengers exiting the pier area.

“The concession is fully legal and allowed under the regulations of the Land Transport Office,” he said.

Officers had yet to track down the tourists themselves for their description of the events that transpired, Col Pichetpong added.

Col Pichetpong said that police were continuing their investigation, and that legal action may yet be taken against either or both of the taxi drivers.

Adcha Buachan of the Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO) confirmed yesterday that Mr Chatrapon may yet face legal action for calling the taxi operators at Ratsada Pier a “mafia”.

Thai Residential

Of note, much of the action taken by officials in response to the incident on Friday has been in response to how often the word “mafia” has been used to describe and criticise Phuket taxi drivers who operate under “concession” agreements or otherwise focibly control access to paying passengers.

Mr Adcha of the PLTO has assured that following this latest incident taxi drivers from 40 taxi ranks, or “queues”, across Phuket will be brought in again to have the regulations explained to them, Col Pichetpong said.

Tourist Police and Phuket Provincial Police will be present for the talks, he added.

Col Pichetpong expressed that he understood the situation Phuket taxi drivers were in, with little to no work over the past two years.

However, he pointed out that now that tourists were returning, their behaviour was on show for the world to see, especially in the age of social media.

“We must be careful because of the use of social media. If there is an incident, there will be an effect,” he said.

The Phuket News was told that the tourists were quoted “about B400” to be taken from Ratsada Pier on the east side of the island to Patong, on the west coast.

It has yet to be publicly confirmed how much the tourists were required to pay by using the Ratsada VIP taxi they were forced to take instead.

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Kurt | 07 September 2022 - 10:38:18

I read it again: "Tourists were FORCED using the Ratsada VIP taxi"!  FORCED! A VIP taxi? All this is so Thai anti tourist behavior. Why Governors don't understand that and do something about it to safe Phuket tourism? Read about illegal 'concessions'  Phuket Land Office hands out to transport cartels. Just corruption, something Phuket Land Office still not freed herself of th...

JohnC | 07 September 2022 - 09:06:27

{We must be careful because of the use of social media. If there is an incident there will be an effect, he said] What a stupid statement. Yes, finally and the effect of social media has been to get you off your lazy butts and make you do your job and do something about scum like this. Before social media it was just another incident you could ignore or extort bribes from. Bring it on!

Kurt | 07 September 2022 - 07:51:58

@Malc-thai, (foreign) tourist has no normal rights in Thailand. The only right he/she has is opening their wallet. Examples? Thai Rental shops hand out motorbikes to tourists without proper license. Thai Licenced tour guides/boat owners bring tourist for fishing to forbidden areas. Who get punished? Only the tourist, not the Thai. The Police is the best friend of all who trap the tourists

skorchio | 06 September 2022 - 17:13:47

Interesting that the Land Transport office confirmed the legality of the 'concession'. Have I got this correct - the Concession, which has been paid for, allows the owner exclusive rights to overcharge tourists for transport, and also allows them to enforce the Concession through intimidation and eventually violence? I wan to know, is the Concession paid for at the Land Transport Office?

Timothy | 06 September 2022 - 13:20:19

Prab, the problem is that you can't use those taxi services in many areas because the mafia has been paying the land transport department mafia for exclusive rights. If a taxi app driver tries to pick you up he will be threatened like in this case or in Kamala recently, or possibly beaten, which has happened many times before.  

Kurt | 06 September 2022 - 11:05:21

On Phuket, police, taxi-, minivan-,tuk tuk drivers, among them never a misunderstandig. That is what the 'mediation money flag' covers. Four hands on a belly. And the 4 Governors, always working very hard to avoid handling the anti-tourists practises. And TAT? Complete useless. A figures parrot without making sense.

Malc-thai | 06 September 2022 - 09:55:19

And what about the right of the passengers being allowed to use whoever they want to take them to their destination.. 

Prab | 06 September 2022 - 08:23:04

never ever use any taxi who stand in front of some hotel, or boat pier or tourist attraction, p,s note and use the following app:
Bolt Driver 
really cheap and nice services. less then half price of a regular taxi.
Enjoy i

Prab | 06 September 2022 - 08:17:55

the usual day in the jungle 

Kurt | 05 September 2022 - 21:31:55

Now, about that "concession" agreement, what is that?  Is that legalizing cartels?  Please, Officialdom, explain to us, the public/tourists. We have the right to know. Is this fantasy of some policeman or is this dictated by rubber law? Or is it said just to 'Thai' us, the customers?

Kurt | 05 September 2022 - 21:22:17

The explanation of the Phuket Police just confirms that they are afraid of the Phuket transport mafia, better make some mediation pocket filling, and withdraw from enforcing the law. Again that dumbing down with stupid saying 'misunderstanding'. What a bunch of idiots.

Capricornball | 05 September 2022 - 20:33:21

Ha!...Classic, and pretty much exactly what I had mentioned in my previous comment. Turn the case over to the corrupt and incompetent police, and nothing is going to come of this. As a result of the good'ol misunderstanding, bad tourist experiences with the transport mafia will continue as always, and social media will let the world know how corrupt this place really is, and tourism will suffe...

Old guy | 05 September 2022 - 20:01:13

LMAO  Van driver is right.  And, the bad guy is right because he's part of the taxi mafia. Typical of a 3rd world country. 

Fascinated | 05 September 2022 - 19:42:22

Good old 'misunderstandings' rule the roost. Why do the authorities constantly cover for these thugs? it is one sector of society I have no sympathy for over the past two years. too many chasing too few fares but never brought under control- remember the Kamala 'mis-understanding' a couple of months back yet there they still are blocking the sidewalk with their illegal stall.


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