PHUKET TOWN: Fifty-one patrons of the At Ease Night Club on Soi Surin tested positive for drugs following a check by authorities early Sunday morning. Bangkok narcotics control officers joined Phuket Tourist Police in sealing the popular nightclub at 1:20 a.m. and ordering patrons to undergo drug testing in what authorities say was the first-ever raid of its kind in Phuket. Provincial Health Officer Dr Boonriang Chuchaisangrat and 12 of his staff carried out on-site testing of urine samples obtained from the more than 350 patrons inside the club. Of the total, 51 tested positive for illegal drugs. Nineteen of the 51 were between the ages of 14 and 19. A search of the premises and customers failed to turn up any illegal substances. Those who tested positive were later taken to the Muang District Police Station where their names and photos were entered into police records. No charges were filed against the 51 suspects pending further urinalyses at the health department’s laboratory in Trang. All were later released. During the check of the club, police detained 73 minors and an additional 33 patrons without ID cards. Violators were fined 100 baht and released. Authorities took no action against the nightclub or its owner. Phuket Tourist Police Inspector Pol Maj Arnont Kamolrat told the Gazette this morning that authorities are planning additional drug tests at various night time entertainment venues in Phuket.
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