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Four drivers accused of offering illegal taxi services in Phuket face steep fines

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Legal action is being taken against 4 illegal taxi drivers in Phuket after they were caught at an official checkpoint near the airport. The Phuket Land Transport Office has confirmed it set up the checkpoint in the Sakoo sub-district on Monday.

According to a Phuket Express report, 2 “green plate” taxi drivers from Bangkok were found to be operating in the area, alongside 2 “black plate” drivers, who were using their personal vehicles to transport tourists. The PLTO says the drivers will be fined and could have their driving licences suspended for 90 days.

There is an ongoing battle between Phuket’s taxi cabal when any competition comes along and ‘threatens’ to take any of their business with competition or alternative services. The situation, lasting more than 30 years, causes highly inflated taxi and tuk tuk charges for locals, expats and visitors.

PLTO officials often use the term “black plate” to refer to drivers using their personal vehicles (which actually have white licence plates) as taxis. Vehicles with green plates are officially licenced as taxis, but can only operate in the province in which they are registered.

Last week, licenced Phuket taxi drivers held a protest against illegal and “outsider” taxi drivers, accusing them of “stealing” their customers. Over 100 drivers of taxis, minivans, and tuk tuks assembled at the provincial hall in the Muang district, where they delivered a letter to Vice-Governor Anupao Yodkhwan.

Both the Vice-Governor and Adcha Buachan, chief of the Phuket transport office, who was also present to hear the drivers air their grievances, promised to investigate the issue.

SOURCE: The Phuket Express

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