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Taxi motorcyclist’s orange vests which allow the drivers to operate legally are available for sale in Nonthaburi at 15,000 baht each or for rent at about 1,000 baht a month plus other additional charges, according to an investigating report of Thai PBS.
A team of Thai PBS reporters was recently sent to Nonthaburi to investigate complaints that the orange vests are available for sale or for monthly rent to anyone interested of becoming a taxi motorcyclist and the proceeds from the illegal sale and rent will go into the pockets of police and other government officials.
The reporters approached Mr Chalerm Changthongmadun, president of the Taxi Motorcyclists Association, who admitted that several taxi motorbikers in Nonthaburi had complained about the illegal payoffs and sent in video clips to prove their complaints.
Mr Chalerm singled out Bang Bua Thong district as being the area with the most complaints with the illegal payoffs supposedly to officials, including police.
For instance, he said that the vests are available for anyone interested to become a taxi motorcyclist operating in front of Rattanathibet housing estate. He explained that the vests which are called “black” vests or illegal vests are for sale at 10,000 baht each plus a monthly rent of 6,000 baht to be collected by the supervisor of the cyclists there supposedly to be given to the unnamed officials who control the illegal operations there.
Pretending to be an enthusiast of becoming a taxi motorcyclist, a Thai PBS approached a cyclist in front of Rattanathibet housing estate, asking whether there was an orange vest for sale or for rent. He was told there was.
The reporter later went to a shopping mall in Rattanathibet where several taxi motorcyclists assembled and approached a certain leader of the group about the vests. He was told a vest would cost 15,000 baht for sale. Or he could rent it at 2,500 baht for the first month and 1,000 baht each for the following months plus an addition of 400 baht monthly parking fee.
The leader claimed that the proceeds from the sale or rent would go to some policemen.
The Thai PBS team also found out that most of the taxi motorcycles in the area had white license plates which were against the rule of the Land Transport Department, but there were no complaints from the legitimate taxi motorcyclists.