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‘We are not mafia’ say Ratsada Pier drivers

‘We are not mafia’ say Ratsada Pier drivers

PHUKET: The man who stopped a passenger van and forced four tourists to take another taxi at Ratsada Pier yesterday has denied that the taxi operators at the busy pier are “mafia”.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Saturday 3 September 2022, 05:03PM

Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

The man, Ekachai Decha, 37, is one of the taxi operators that serve Ratsada Pier, which is home to the main ferries heading to Phi Phi Island.

The four tourists, three of whom were young women, had just returned from Phi Phi Island when the incident happened just 50 metres from the entrance to the pier yesterday.

Mr Ekachai told reporters today (Sept 3) that a representative of a ferry company at the pier had approached him and explained that a person inside the ferry terminal had heard the word “mafia” used in describing the incident. The word “mafia” had been used in posts online. 

The traveller had chosen to not use the taxi operators stationed at the pier because of the use of the term, Mr Ekachai explained.

“I would like to say that the port company does not have any mafia, but what comes out to inquire with the people who come to ask why they have to slander us like this ‒ we are not taxi mafia,” Mr Ekachai said.

C and C Marine

Some of the taxi drivers at the pier told reporters that the taxi group had been established so that local residents, notably those living in Moo 7 Ratsada “could make a living”.

Mr Ekachai refuted the idea that the taxi drivers at the pier, operating under the name “Ratsada VIP Group”, were “mafia” because they had their own seating area.

“Why don’t you call the taxi drivers at the airport ‘mafia’? It is a B2,000 fine for any taxi driver not belonging to that group being caught there,” he said.

Mr Ekachai also raged against independent taxi drivers who connect with customers through an app. “Especially if the fare quoted by the app is not legal,” he said.

“We are not mafia… Let me fix this news for you. Thank you,” he concluded.

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christysweet | 06 September 2022 - 13:03:54

Huh ? 'We have a seating area ..,' negates accusations of Mafia?  Re the  airport comment, person has  no clue as to what licensing OR 
 mafia means and one could call it kidapping and extortion for what happened in the incident. Were they White westerners, they'd already be charged accordingly.

Kurt | 05 September 2022 - 21:11:07

@Pooliekev,  We live amid nice Thai people. But not include 'public transport' drivers, RTP and other Government workers who not serve the People, as they have sworn, but just fill their corrupt pockets. Feel sorry for the good ones among them who suffer that due to the bad image employment flag under which they serve. 

Capricornball | 05 September 2022 - 20:40:21

Read more often Poolie, like not long ago about the taxi scum moment in Kamala, which did nothing but damage, or the countless other cases over the years, which is a big reason they are offering free public transportation to domestic they don't have to deal with your friends, also called taxi mafioso scum.

Pooliekev | 05 September 2022 - 19:31:53

How many Thais have you consulted? 10 at a stretch, I bet. A self-appointed expert. The worst kind. 

Capricornball | 05 September 2022 - 18:05:49

Oh jeez...Pooliekev  wins the "Thai Apologist Extraordinaire" award for going to bat for the public transport mafia scum.  Even Thai people can't stand this scourge to Thai tourism. These thugs and violent lowlife have harmed tourism, both foreign and domestic, more than any other element in this beautiful country.

Prab | 05 September 2022 - 09:40:30

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 it.

Pooliekev | 04 September 2022 - 22:35:25

Hmm. The usual respondents here with an expected knee jerk response. Why not try and make a living alongside these people before bad mouthing them? 

Old guy | 04 September 2022 - 14:53:31

Comical. First, teach this guy what "mafia" means.  Second, why give this guy any space to respond? 

Fascinated | 04 September 2022 - 12:39:26

He is actually correct-  the real mafia have some standards - these guys are just thugs not worthy of the name 'mafia'. they have no standing in law with their 'groups' but for some reason the authorities continue to be intimidated by them and do nothing.

Nasa12 | 04 September 2022 - 12:11:31

Now there has been so much negative talk about Phuket in Norwegian newspapers in recent months that TUI has canceled 21 out of 23 flights from Oslo to Phuket directly.  It is written about scaming from tuk- tuk taxi, poor security, rubbish and crap along the roads, corruption of the police, etc.  I think there will probably be big cancellations from the other Scandinavian countries as well.

JohnC | 04 September 2022 - 09:00:56

Let me fix that news for you. YOU ARE ALL MAFIA, including airports and every other taxi queue across the island. You behave like a bunch of thugs who will do anything to keep your foot in to what you percieve as a profitable vocation, including; bashings, shootings and threatening tourists who try to use different means of transport. If you provided  good service maybe you would get more business

Kurt | 04 September 2022 - 00:30:40

khun Ekachai raged against independent taxidrivers who get connected by clients through app. Not legal?  Can  Ekachai explain what is legal of the 'normal' taxi drivers not using their taxi meter?  Oh yes,of course, that is a deal with pocket filling Officialdom that preach with split tongue respect and fairness toward tourists, but close eyes for reality. Any other explanation?

Fascinated | 03 September 2022 - 23:06:21

Thugs, just thugs. Lets not beat about the bush. if  there is one area of the economy that has suffered over COVID that I have no sympathy for it is them. I love driving thru patong and seeing 60 + empty tuk tuks i just laugh at  them.

Kurt | 03 September 2022 - 20:16:15

Aha, some info released about Phuket taxi mafiose by theselve. Question: Who hands out a B2000 fine to a taxidriver not belonging to the airport taxi mafia cartel?

Capricornball | 03 September 2022 - 19:42:53

They're all mafia. Khun Ekachai's rant verifies that he and his Rassada mafioso buddies want the tourists to be forced to use him and his buddies in the Rassada Cartel. They hate competition, and act out with confrontation, scaring the tourists and giving Phuket a bad name. Khun Ekachai and his mates are thugs that hurt the image of Phuket (once again) and don't deserve the business.


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