Bangkok moto taxi drivers complain of massive mafia extortion

Bangkok motorcycle taxi drivers are complaining of having to pay significant monthly bribes to mafia to operate their businesses.

Chalerm Changtongmadun, head of the Motorcycle Taxi Drivers Association, told Thai newspaper Khao Sod that his group is forced to pay THB40,000-60,000 a month, in a story translated by TANN. Chalerm said that each taxi stand is forced to pay different amounts to different mafias – usually headed by military figures or politicians – depending on where the stand is located in Bangkok.

The punishment for refusal to pay the bribes is harassment and terrorization, Chalerm said, and one head of a taxi stand who refused to pay turned up dead recently. Many taxi drivers have been sent to the hospital with serious injuries as well, he said.

The moto taxi chief said that sometimes a whole new taxi cue will set up shop, servicing the same route as the legitimate cue.

Chalerm said that he has complained to officials before but nothing has been done. He called on the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to help and said that he’s met with the BMA over 10 times but nothing has happened.

Khao Sod reported that the Motorcycle Taxi Drivers Association provided photos and video as evidence to back their claims.

Deputy Prime Minister ChalermYubamrang’s son Wan was recently put in charge of “protecting” motorcycle taxi drivers and putting an end to the mafia extortion.  



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