A less-than-romantic evening
PATONG: In keeping with Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s drive to stamp out illegal drugs within three months, the authorities conducted a surprise raid on the popular Tiger Pub on Soi Bangla on Friday evening – Valentine’s Day. As police swooped in, a large number of tourists – mostly foreigners – managed to escape, leaving just 70 romantic revelers in the hands of the authorities. Authorities demanded they provide urine samples for mandatory drug-testing. Thirteen samples, all provided by Thai women, turned purple, indicating the possible presence of ya bah (methamphetamine). All 13 were taken into custody. Those who tested positive will have their samples subjected to further analysis and confirmation by the Phuket Provincial Health Office. If the presence of drugs is confirmed, charges will be filed, probably in about two weeks’ time. Some tourists who witnessed the operation labeled it “heavy-handed” and said that police should leave people alone on Valentine’s Day to allow them at least one night to celebrate in the manner they wanted. The raid, which came around midnight, was led by Phuket Vice-Governor Winai Buapradit. Accompanying K. Winai were Pol Col Apirak Hongthong, Deputy Commander of Phuket Provincial Police, Pol Col Chalit Tintanee, Superintendent of Kathu Police Station, and officers from the Phuket Provincial Health Office.
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