“Russian mafia” can establish control over Phuket
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The hospitality industry in Phuket is calling on the government to address the growing involvement of foreign mafia gangs in the resort island. Industry leaders are concerned that foreigners are using the laws to run their own businesses, as well as taking jobs meant for locals.
Speaking at a recent meeting on tourism issues in the three provinces of the Andaman Islands, founder of the Kata Group Resorts Pramukpisitt Achariyachai said that some foreigners are violating regulations regarding jobs reserved for Thais.
Businesses currently run by groups of foreigners include taxi and accommodation services, with some foreigners rent villas and apartments abandoned during the Covid-19 pandemic and then rent them out again to their compatriots. He added that they were mostly Russians.
In addition, Phuket locals objected to a group of foreign helicopter drivers. Pramukpisitt is concerned that foreign mafia groups could take control of the island, as they did in Pattaya a couple of decades ago. He urged Minister of Tourism and Sports Fifat Ratchakitprakarn to address these issues.
“I'm sure most Thais will not tolerate it if foreigners try to steal their jobs. The authorities of the various agencies will look into this issue as the Prime Minister also ordered the Royal Thai Police to take tough action,” Fifat replied.
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