Police raid Bangkok restaurant, more than 80 people face charges for violating Emergency Decree

PHOTO: Thairath

More than 80 people face jail time and fines for allegedly violating disease control measures under the Emergency Decree after police raided a Bangkok pub and restaurant.

The Indian restaurant Taj Café off Sukhumvit Road in the Watthana district was raided over the weekend after a complaint reporting that customers were smoking hookah, which is illegal in Thailand, and that the venue employed undocumented migrants.

Under an order from Bangkok City Hall, bars and pubs must close until further notice to help control the spread of Covid-19 while restaurants cannot serve alcohol and must stop dine-in services at 9pm to reduce gathering.

Officers from both immigration and the Lumpini police station raided the Indian Restaurant at 1:10am Saturday. Police say the venue was crowded, no one was social distancing and customers were not wearing face masks.

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Pattaya News reports more than 80 people were arrested, while the Bangkok Post reports 65 people were arrested.

According to the Pattaya News, 42 people each face a month in jail and a 5,000 baht fine. Another 40 people, who were foreigners from Nigeria, India, Somalia and Myanmar, face between 4 months to a year in jail as well as fines ranging from 5,000 baht to 16,000 baht, according to the Pattaya News. Police say many of the foreigners violated both the Emergency Decree and the Immigration Act.

The Bangkok Post says the manager of the restaurant, 28 year old Mamdeep Singh, was charged with working without a permit, offering hookah to customers and violating both the Emergency Decree and City Hall order.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Pattaya News

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Caitlin Ashworth

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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