To restore Phuket’s reputation and boost tourism, high ranking police officers from all over Thailand joined the meeting held today at Provincial Hall in Phuket City, aiming to work together to end rip-offs and scams in Phuket and later on other tourist destinations in Thailand.
The savage killing by would-be bag snatchers on June 20 this year has raised the government’s concern over the reputation of Thailand’s tourism. In response to the request of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to promote the positive image of Thailand tourism, the summit with presence of senior policemen and Phuket business leaders was held to solve the problems of tourist scams.
Deputy national Police Chief Lieutenant General Pansiri chaired today’s meeting. Phuket Police Commander Major General Chonsit Wadhnawarangkun was also there, with police chiefs from Bangkok, Surat Thani, Chiang Mai and Pattaya.
”We are here to end the mafia’s influence on Phuket,” said Thailand’s second most highly ranked policeman, Deputy Police Chief Lieutenant General Pansiri Prapawat.
The policemen aim to work together to form a ‘Phuket Model’, which will not only obliterate the rip-offs and scams in Phuket but also work for Pattaya, Samui and Bangkok.
According to the meeting, the first issue to address is Phuket’s jet-skis where scams have continued despite one local authority claiming that an insurance scheme has solved the problem. The second on the roll is tuk-tuk service which has a reputation of thuggery and hidden weapons.
The issue of illegal taxis that demand high fares now seems to have improved as a modern and effective taxi network has formed eventually. Phuket’s Deputy Land Transport Director, Wanta Pumararoskon, said that deadlines had been set for Phuket’s illegal taxis to be registered.
All taxis can register from today at 2.00p.m. at the Central Festival shopping mall. Deadlines have been set for 2pm on Friday for illegal ”black” taxis based in Thalang, followed by a July 11 deadline for taxis in Patong and the surrounding Kathu district.
Lieutenant General Pansiri and other police chiefs will report to the Prime Minister on Friday on the progress.