Kathu Chief moves to close Safari Pub permanently

PATONG: Kathu District Chief Khantee Silapa will ask Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit to order the permanent closure of Safari Pub as the venue has been caught repeatedly trading after hours, most recently early Friday morning.

Chief Khantee told the Gazette, “I have ordered the police to watch the Safari Pub closely and to not allow it to reopen. This will be an example to other entertainment venues in Phuket that the government is serious about this problem.”

Police arrested the manager of Safari Pub, charging him for trading after hours, Chief Khantee said, adding that the usual punishment for bars trading after hours is 30 to 60 days’ closure.

“Entertainment venues caught operating without a license will be closed and not allowed to reopen until they get a license,” he added.

“We have warned many entertainment venues for trading after hours or not having licenses, but they are still open. Police are doing the best they can with this problem. Police arrest the owners, but they earn a lot of income from this kind of business so they don’t want to close.

“Not having enough police and officials adds to the problem, allowing bar owners to re-open,” he said.

Passawut Sukban, 33, owner of Safari Pub, told the Gazette, that the venue is operating as usual because it has yet to be ordered closed. “We have not closed, and even last night [April 30] we were open.

“If they want to arrest people for keeping clubs open later than allowed, police could arrest owners and managers from almost every entertainment spot in Patong.

“I admit that we were open later than allowed by law, and that we are supposed to close at 1 am, but if all the entertainment here shuts at 1 am that means we can’t do business.

“It is well known that we are an entertainment place and we do not have any naughty shows, prostitution or drugs.

“The Governor’s policies should stick to the illegal lottery, gambling and stripper shows, instead of the times we can entertain,” K. Passawut said.

Chief Khantee said that about 60 entertainment businesses in Kathu District have applied for licenses since the police began their crackdown.

The move to close the well-known Safari Pub follows a meeting of the Phuket Provincial Security Committee on Thursday, when Gov Niran said, “Regarding bars or entertainment venues that stay open after hours or don’t have licenses – I want the police and officials to crack down by closing the ones that have been warned many times but are still open.

“There is no need to worry about who is connected with the business,” he said.

Phuket News
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