The Department of Special Investigation hit a new level of flamboyance last week. A team led by DSI chief Tarit Pengdith landed at Phuket airport, lined up the notoriously unfriendly taxi drivers for inspection, and began issuing summonses for illegal activities. Mr Tarit then held a press conference, in which he named 11 prominent Phuket businessmen and groups, frequently and pointedly using that well-known code word "influential".
Those on the list were not accustomed to or pleased with being the subject of such attention on their turf. Some summoned their lawyers and threatened lawsuits.
The DSI was trying to show it had drawn a line in the white sand of Phuket's famous beaches. It clearly hopes to shut down the increasingly notorious mistreatment of visitors to Phuket. Because the word is most definitely out, and spreading worldwide: Phuket rips off, abuses, hurts, beats up, robs and generally turns up its collective nose at millions of tourists.
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