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Covid-infected Thai returnees: Myanmar hotel in the spotlight

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Coconuts

With the news that at least 10 Covid-infected Thai women working in Myanmar bypassed health checks and quarantine on their return to the Kingdom, all eyes have turned to their place of work. Interest in the 1G1-7 Hotel has grown as a result of a resident in the border town of Tachileik claiming it is used as a centre for prostitution. The luxury, 100 room, 4 storey hotel is only 1.5 kilometres from the border checkpoint in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district.

The hotel is operated as a high class brothel for Burmese generals from Yangon and other high-end business men from around Myanmar.

The Bangkok Post reports that it’s been operational for 4 – 5 years and is one of the largest entertainment complexes in Tachileik. According to a local source, its clients are high-end guests, with room rates going from 1,200 baht to 10,000 baht a night. The hotel has a pub, bar, and disco on the ground floor, with over 20 VIP karaoke rooms on the second floor. The cost of hiring a karaoke room ranges from 500 to 2,000 baht an hour.

The hotel is a joint venture between Thai, Burmese, and Chinese investors. It’s understood one investor from China has the largest stake in the entertainment complex.

The venue is reported to have at least 180 Thais working there, with reports that Thai women are very popular with its clientele, who are described by the Tachileik resident as, “fat military generals from Yangon”.

However, with Covid-19 cases escalating in the town, many of the workers fled, sneaking back into Thailand at various points along the porous border, bypassing health checks and quarantine. All returnees have since tested positive for Covid-19 and are now in quarantine, while officials trace hundreds of people who came into contact with them. One of those contacts, a Chiang Rai man, apparently a DJ working in the hotel’s party areas, has also tested positive for the virus.

 

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