A group of 40 motorcycle taxi riders have complained about extortion at the hands of three alleged racketeers leaning on them in Sukhumvit Road Soi 81.
The area is a “golden route” for motorcycle riders with more than 150 of their number plying the nearby sois. Influential mafia figures in the area angry that they find themselves unable to get ready cash as they used to before the riders were registered by the government, are ow trying to get back their piece of the action.
And the motorcycle riders have said enough is enough. They appealed en masse to the police at the Prakhanong station to arrest and prosecute a man and his two children for extortion and loan sharking.
The three individuals are understood to have already been arrested on weapons and racketeering charges on Friday but were allowed to walk free on bail. No sooner were they back in the area than the trouble began again for the “win” service that operates there.
Samran Wankhamkut representing the riders said they appeal for justice claiming that the influential character in the area and his children are causing them hardship. He said that Soi 81 is a “golden area” for the “win” service and that the mafia want to get back what they had lost when the government started to register all jacketed riders.
“Many riders have given up working in the area,” he said. “Some who were in debt to the mafia returned their jackets to them to pay off the debts. These are then sold to new riders for 7,000 baht a month to have the right to operate in their area,
“These influential people have lost money and are angry and they have been threatening us all over again.”
All three of the influential figures were arrested and bailed last week. They are also believed to be connected to an unregistered service operating in the On Nut area of Sukhumvit. Police said yesterday that they will be called in to face the extortion claims and further allegations of loan sharking.
This time they say that the matter will go to court and bail will be denied them.
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