THAILAND - Police claim they have successfully cracked down on the illegal collection of parking fees in public spaces such as the Royal Plaza.
"I myself asked a tour-bus driver this morning and he said the illegal collection of parking fees ended several months ago," Pol Maj-General Adul Narongsak, a deputy Metropolitan Police commissioner, said yesterday.
Metropolitan Police Division 1, which covers the Royal Plaza, had looked into parking complaints but did not find any further suspicious activities, he said.
The information was corroborated by many sources, who say police have constantly arrested thugs charging "parking fees". Some people believed the problem would soon return, however.
Tour-bus operators said a man with a dark complexion aged around 45 has been pocketing Bt50 (S$2.00) -Bt100 per vehicle parked around the Royal Plaza, saying the money will go to "police".
Sources said that when graduation ceremonies and the Red Cross Fair are held nearby, mafia types would show up and extort money from motorists.
"They demand between Bt20 and Bt50 from motorcycle drivers and Bt120 and Bt200 from car drivers," a witness said.