Several senior officers from Bangkok’s Lumpini Police Station have been re-assigned following a number of raids on restaurants selling alcohol. The 5 officers have been named by the Pattaya News as Chakkrit Chosoongnoen, Chayachai Nathanakan, Prachya Boonyuen, Ekkarat Malawanno, and Sittisak Sudhom. They are accused of turning a blind eye to venues violating Covid-19 restrictions by allowing the sale and consumption of alcohol on-site.
Raids have been taking place on a near-daily basis, as police crack down on such violations. Bars and nightlife across the country have been ordered shut since April, with the CCSA insisting they have the potential to be Covid-19 “super-spreader” venues. Restaurants are open but prohibited from selling alcohol, with limited exceptions for tourism destinations such as Phuket, Khao Lak, and Koh Samui.
Having lived with the order for 7 months now, business owners are becoming impatient, with many flouting the rules and in some cases, being ignored by the police. This decision to look the other way is believed to be behind the latest re-assignment of Bangkok officers. The Pattaya News reports that it occurred in the aftermath of a raid on the XOXO restaurant in the Sukhumvit district, in which 116 Thai and foreign customers were arrested, along with the manager of the venue.
Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner, Samran Nuanma, says such arrests will continue for as long as businesses violate the ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol.
“Although restaurants are now allowed to be re-opened, selling and drinking alcohol is still absolutely illegal under the implementation of the Emergency Decree in most of the country. Bars, clubs, and nightlife are closed, and opening them is against the law. Police will continue their investigations and watch over suspicious establishments closely. Violators in all cases must be prosecuted under the law without exception, this includes customers and foreigners as we have been very clear about the rules. Claiming one does not know the rules is not an excuse.”
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SOURCE: The Pattaya News