Thai Prime Minister Orders Crackdown on ‘Taxi Mafia’ at Ratchaprasong


Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has instructed the police to take serious action against the “taxi mafia” at the Ratchaprasong area. These taxi drivers reportedly do not use meters and extort tourists. The premier ordered the police and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to look into the issue of “taxi sticker” bribes, particularly taxis idling in front of the CentralWorld shopping mall.

Following images shared on the “Taxi Driver Thailand” Facebook page showing taxis parked in a special lane in front of CentralWorld, it was noted that these taxis, identified by a sticker on the back window, are allegedly allowed by officials to pick up passengers without using meters, creating a negative image for tourism.

Members of the press who visited CentralWorld on Tuesday evening observed taxis entering the special lane to pick up passengers regularly, but not parking indefinitely. Officials said that the activity is permissible, while adding that police have coordinated with the mall management to designate specific taxi and rider pickup points. If called through an app, the meeting point will be set beside the mall, not on Ratchadamri Road.

Recently, the traffic police at the Lumpini precinct installed signs indicating that all vehicles could use the leftmost lane of the road. The move came after road users mistook it for a bus lane, resulting in heavy traffic congestion during rush hours.

Additionally, officers confirmed that all vehicles could still use the leftmost lane, but they must not stop to pick up or drop off passengers.

The Lumpini precinct also revealed that officers had investigated whether the “Isetan” sticker scandal involved influential local groups. The precinct confirmed that currently, no privileged groups should be allowed to park waiting to pick up passengers or tourists, and no taxis should be operating without meters and overcharging foreign tourists.

The preceding is a press release from the Thai Government PR Department.

Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.