Police crackdown on taxi and tuk-tuk drivers around Emerald Buddha Temple

More than 80 taxi and tuk-tuk drivers were arrested by police for allegedly taking advantage of foreign tourists around the Temple of the Emerald Buddha on Sunday.

The crackdown on taxi and tuk-tuk drivers by police from Chanasongkram and Phra Ratchawang police was led by Pol Maj-Gen Surachet Hakparn, deputy commissioner of the Tourist Police, in response to numerous complaints from tourists for being taken advantage of by the drivers in different forms, such as refusal to use taxi meters, taxi drivers posing as illegal guides, fare overcharging, intimidation and demanding commissions from jewelry and tailor’s shops.

Pol Maj-Gen Surachet said that all the taxi and tuk-tuk drivers catering to tourists around the famous temple would have their photos taken and their personal history recorded and their driving licenses suspended for up to three months if there were complaints against any of them by the tourists.

Repeated offences in the future will land them in more trouble with their driving licenses seized permanently, said the tourist police deputy commissioner.

Besides the 87 taxi and tuk-tuk drivers, 52 other individuals loitering around the temple were also rounded up by the police for a lecture for their conduct which might cause disturbances to the tourists or cause damage to the image of Thai tourism business.  They were later released afterward with a warning.