Like teenagers at a house party, customers ran from a restaurant near Bali Hai as Pattaya City Police raided the business looking for illegal alcohol service. The raid happened at 9 pm last night as police made the rounds, inspecting businesses and making sure restaurants were obeying the continued ban on alcohol sales and consumption now that it has been lifted in a few key tourism hotspots but frustratingly not in Pattaya.
Police say they did not find any alcohol served on customers’ tables during their raid but saw plenty of suspicious things pointing to booze being served illegally, not the least of which was the scramble of customers fleeing as soon as the police were spotted. Police observed that this was abnormal behaviour for people doing nothing wrong.
The panicked customers, both Thai nationals and foreign travellers or expats, were reported by police to have run in all directions including into Pattaya Bay or into the nearby woods. Police found what appeared to be mixers on the tables and glasses with tissue paper napkins covering them, a common practice people do to protect their unguarded alcoholic beverages when they step away.
But no actual alcohol was found on tables and there was no concrete proof that the restaurant was serving booze, so police did not charge anyone with any crimes. But they note the restaurant had been caught several times previously selling alcohol and legal action is still in the process.
Police also did inspections on other popular restaurants in the area including Chocolate Factory and Three Mermaids but said they did not find anyone to be violating the Emergency Decree and local provincial Covid-19 ordinances that forbid the sale and consumption of alcohol and have ordered bars and entertainment venues to remain closed for the last 7 months.
The raid come just one night after 30 customers were arrested at Lisa on the Beach, a Chon Buri beach bar serving alcohol in paper cups and blaring music. Police warn that inspections will continue and those caught drinking illegally could face arrest and fines.
SOURCE: The Pattaya News
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