Chiang Mai: Illegal venue serving minors shut down in police raid operation

Photo courtesy of Pattaya News

In the early hours yesterday, a police raid was set into motion in the Chang Phueak area of Mueang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Province. The operation, at precisely 12.30am, was led by Ronarong Thipsiri, the Inspector General of the Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA), alongside DOPA SWAT and other relevant officials. Their target was an illegal entertainment venue, which had been the subject of numerous complaints from residents.

The establishment, whose name is being withheld by authorities pending further investigation, is infamous amongst locals, particularly high school and college students under 20 years old. It was accused of creating excessive noise late into the night and providing services to many underage individuals.

On inspection, the authorities found the venue to be lacking in fire exits and operating without a valid license to provide public services. They also discovered the establishment was selling liquor beyond the stipulated legal hours of 2am and illegally providing alcohol to minors.

The raid operation, which was executed amidst a crowd of over 300 patrons, found that more than 242 of the visitors, constituting almost 90% of the total, were minors under the age of 20. In the chaos that ensued, many tried to escape through the various entrances and exits, but the venue had been securely encircled by DOPA SWAT, reported Pattaya News.

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This raid operation fell under a new policy set forth by Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, which saw DOPA officials across Thailand coordinating with DOPA SWAT to tackle local influential figures, drug dealers, instances of human trafficking, illegal gambling, and illicit firearms. The policy was implemented on November 1.

In the wake of the raid operation, Ronarong issued a stern warning to owners of entertainment venues. He emphasized abiding by the law, particularly regarding the prohibition of offering services to those under 20 years old, the sale of illegal substances, and the carriage of firearms.

“If found breaking the laws, the owners will be held accountable for their crimes and the establishment will be shut down for five years.”

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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