Bars facing Bangkok-style drug raids

PHUKET TOWN: Owners of entertainment places in Phuket Town were warned yesterday to expect raids “soon” by police and health officers clamping down on the distribution and use of narcotics. The warning came at a meeting attended by more than 200 owners of entertainment businesses at the Phuket Town Police Station. Among those attending were owners of pubs, bars, restaurants, beer gardens and karaoke bars. Warning about the imminent raids, Dr Boonrieng Chuchaisaengrat, Chief of the Provincial Health Office (PHO), appealed to owners to clean their rest rooms and to turn on the air conditioning when the police arrive. Officers from the PHO have to wait in the toilets to conduct urine tests on revelers, he explained, and would appreciate it if they could do so in a relatively clean atmosphere. After the meeting, Dr Boonrieng explained that drug suppression is an important part of the PHO’s job. “Our function is to help the police when they raid entertainment places looking for narcotics,” he said. “We carry out the tests for drugs.” He said that there has recently been a drop in the number of people caught in possession of ya bah (methamphetamine), or who tested positive for its use during raids on entertainment places. There was evidence, however, that the use of “ya E” (Ecstasy) has increased. Pol Col Paween Pongsirin, superintendent of Phuket Town Police Station, explained to the assembled owners that there are six main requirements they are expected to comply with. These are: – Entertainment places must have licenses; – They must not admit customers under the age of 20; – They must not employ anyone under the age of 18; – They must not stage shows featuring nakedness, whether by men, women or other genders; – They must close at 2 am; – They must not allow their premises to be used for the sale or distribution of narcotics. Col Paween said that exceptions to the 2 am closing time would be made on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. “We should all be concerned about society, and especially about children,” Col Paween explained. “You should not think only about yourself and about how much you can get from other people.” Col Paween said that his aim is to make Phuket a good place to live, with no narcotics. To this end, he also urged those at the meeting to keep an eye on the police whose job it is to suppress narcotics. “I’d like to improve the image of the police. So, if anyone sees police officers doing bad things, just let us know,” he said.

Phuket News
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