Valentine’s Day crackdown sees nine club owners charged

PATONG: The operators of nine clubs and bars in Patong, including Night Station Discotheque and Safari Pub, were arrested early Thursday morning for violating the mandatory closing time of 2 am.

Officers from Phuket Provincial Police Special Task Force and Kathu District Police Station, led by Lt Col Sermphan Sirikong, raided the entertainment hotspots at 4 am February 15, kicking out the after-Valentine’s Day crowd.

Lt Weerapong Rakito of Kathu District Police Station said that police usually check for entertainment venues operating outside the permitted trading hours, but were especially strict this time because it was a holiday.

“By law, the entertainment venues must close at 2 am, but we grant a compromise to some entertainment venue [operators] who ask for special permission from the Governor or if we have documents from the Phuket Tourist Association requesting permission for them to stay open later,” he said.

“If they don’t have either of those documents, then they will be arrested.”

Lt Col Jakkrit Taewattana, Crime Suppression Inspector at Kathu District Police Station, said that the operators were charged with operating an entertainment venue and serving alcoholic drinks after hours. If convicted, the owners face punishment of up to one year in prison and fines of up to 60,000 baht.

Col Jakkrit gave the names of the nine people arrested as: Chanakorn Tiangkamma, 30, of Spider Bar on Sirirat Rd; Pranom Puktong, 32, of Night Station Discotheque on Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Rd; Boonchoke Buasaeng, 35, of Boutique Bar on Sirirat Rd; William Deutch, 40, of Boots Haus on Soi Sansabai; Pimchankok Sombatkamrai, 33, of Paradise Bar on Soi Bangla: Faroong Suayklang, 34, of Memory Bar on Soi Sea Pearl: Sonthi Setsong, 27, of Jungle House on Sirirat Rd; Passawut Sukhaban, 35, of Safari Pub on Sirirat Rd; and Anupong Muangmai, 23, of Number One Bar on Sawasdirak Rd.

“After they are fined, they can still operate their entertainment venues as usual. However, the province’s administrative department stipulates that they should be closed if they have previously been charged with violating the licensing law,” he said.

“After we arrested the operators, we filed the case with the District Chief who will forward the case to the province’s administration department. It will then be filed at the Civil Court,” Col Jakkrit said.

Phuket News
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