Sukhumvit bar owner threatens tourists with gun

PHOTO: Tourists panicked as a bar owner waved his gun at customers. (via Siam Rath)

While there’s no surefire way to choose which bar is good and which one is bad in the lively nightlife area of Sukhumvit in Bangkok, maybe one where the owner flaunts his gun on social media all the time isn’t the best choice. A foreign tourist in Bangkok has reported being threatened with a shotgun by the owner of a bar in the area.

The incident was reported to Immigration 1 Police by the tourist, who was left shaken by the experience. The tourist claimed that many other customers witnessed the incident, which took place at a bar in Sukhumvit Soi 22, though some media outlets mistakenly reported it as being in the popular Soi Cowboy neighbourhood.

Upon further investigation, police discovered that the owner of the bar is a Thai man known as Rak. The bar owner is not shy about his love of guns. Rak regularly posts on Facebook and other social media, where he shares pictures of himself with various kinds of weaponry.

While investigating after his flaunting of guns, police found that the bar owner did not have any gun licenses registered under his name.

Police got a search warrant and searched Rak’s bedroom, which is located above the bar. The room was decorated with pictures of shooting and gun-related imagery. However, Rak himself had disappeared by the time the police arrived.

Inside an unlocked safe, police found a gun and several different types of ammunition for various weapons. There was also a “gun lighter” that could easily be mistaken for the real thing if waved around in public.

Police are still hunting for bar owner Rak and will arrest him and bring him to Thong Lor Police Station to face charges under gun laws once apprehended.

Sukhumvit is one of the liveliest areas in Bangkok, known for its vibrant nightlife scene. The area boasts bars, clubs, and restaurants, catering to a wide range of styles and budgets. The area is particularly popular with tourists, who flock to the famous Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza, known for their colourful neon lights and raunchy, sexy entertainment.

Gun ownership is legal in Thailand, but strict laws govern the possession and use of firearms. Some estimates say there were approximately 10 million firearms in the country in 2019, with an estimated 6 million of those being illegal.

Thailand has the 48th most gun-related deaths in the world in the most current statistics, standing at 3.91 per 100,000 people. That’s less than the Philippines, the most dangerous in Asia with 7.42 and that of gun-crazed US at 10.89. In recent years, there have been efforts to crack down on illegal firearms in Thailand.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.