Police blitz late-night entertainment venues

PHUKET CITY: Police and provincial government officers are raiding entertainment venues around the island up to 20 times a month to ensure they are not trading past the 1 am deadline for closing, Provincial Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) Vichan Busapavanich said today.

Speaking at a press conference at Phuket Provincial Hall this morning, Palad Vichan said, “The law says that the authorities [police] must check entertainment venues at least four times a month.

“But at the moment, we [police and provincial government officers] are checking up to 20 times a month. We are being so strict because we are trying to ensure that they are following government policy.”

Palad Vichan explained that the raids follow complaints about some venues staying open past the 1 am curfew. “There are a complaints about why some places can stay open beyond 1 am, but most must close,” he said.

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“The same conditions apply to venues in Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Phuket, and that is that they must close at 1 am,” he added.

Palad Vichan said that only two venues in Phuket are allowed to stay open until 2 am – the Blue Marina at Phuket Merlin Hotel and the T-2 club near The Metropole hotel. “This is because of the type of entertainment licenses they used to hold,” he explained.

All entertainment licenses in the country became void on March 12 last year by statutory order, and new licenses have yet to come into effect as the government has failed to set fees for them. [See Deadline approaches for fun venues]

Wisut Romin, Deputy Secretary of Phuket Provincial Administrative Office, later today told the Gazette that most operators comply with the law and close at 1 am.

“If they don’t and they are caught, the punishment is to close the business, so it is not worth their while to disregard the law,” he said.

Phuket News
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