They say no good deed goes unpunished, but in the case of Sky Mountain Restaurant in Pattaya, no unpunished deed goes unrepeated. The restaurant has been raided by police a sixth time for acting as a bar and nightclub and illegally selling alcohol in violation of Covid-19 restrictions, though it has not seen any penalty yet and continues to operate and earn money with no reason to obey the laws.
The restaurant operating as a bar is near Bali Hai Pier and was raided yet again last night, this time after just one week of being ordered to close. The Chon Buri Governor had ordered the closure after five previous toothless raids without punishment failed to dissuade the thriving business. The fourth bust about 5 weeks ago saw 100 people defying any safety guidelines but officials have stopped threatening patrons of illegal bars with any punishment.
It may have been the third bust at the beginning of November that got the most attention with police officers saying that tables covered in cocktail glasses and mixers were not proof that illegal drinking was going on, but it was somewhat unusual for patrons merely enjoying a meal at a restaurant to all flee in a panic when police arrived, some even stumbling into the forest or the nearby bay.
The restaurant was already ordered to be closed until January 13, but it seems clear that the police and authorities are doing little to enforce the laws as last night the bar was seen in full swing with beer towers on tables and customers enjoying their night when the police arrived in one of their now nearly weekly raids.
Sky Mountain was clearly operating as a bar according to a representative from the Pattaya City Police despite the fact that bars are closed nationwide for Covid-19 prevention measures and the Pattaya restaurant was individually ordered closed for 30 days just last week.
The manager of the restaurant was transported to the Pattaya City Police Station where he will “face legal action” that seems at this point to be nothing more than a stern talking to before being released to reopen for business as usual. This time police say they are telling on the restaurant to the Governor and allowing him to take action after they directly disobeyed his order.
While most restaurants have struggled to stay afloat, especially before alcohol rules relaxed to allow qualified restaurants to serve drinks with a curfew, Sky Mountain has been profiting handsomely by brazenly ignoring all laws with apparent impunity.
SOURCE: The Phuket News