“Phuket has been captured by the Russian mafia,” local authorities made such a statement, or rather a refutation of it, at a press conference. Their task was to refute stories that appeared in foreign media earlier last week that the island had in fact been taken over by Russians, including members of the Russian mafia. This was reported by Phuket News. The Russians, as the media claim, are taking away the jobs of Thais, engaging in illegal business, inflating the price of real estate, and most importantly, they have begun to organize showdowns with shooting.
“There has been a wave of appearances of purely Russian enterprises where illegal foreigners work. In July alone, several beauty salons were discovered where only Russian women worked,” local media complained. They are outraged by illegal Russians who essentially work as taxis and transfers, giving rides to their compatriots, and by local operators who provide buses for rent. According to them, the Russians are lowering prices by at least 20% and are doing everything so that “all the rubles remain with the Russians.”
But the most important thing is banditry and shootings. Thais are already frightened by the incident in June when a shootout broke out outside a cafe on Boat Avenue – it turned out that it involved a citizen of Kazakhstan and a Russian.
The authorities, in turn, are trying to calm the fuss, according to Police Major General Surfman Sirikong, over the past five years, only three crimes involving Russian citizens have been discovered on the island. There were also no illegal taxi drivers or “traces of the presence of the Russian mafia” found. However, a high police official promised stricter checks.
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