Valhalla closed down indefinitely

PHUKET TOWN: Phuket Governor Pongpayome Vasaputi yesterday cancelled the operating license of the Valhalla Entertainment complex on Soi Sunset, Patong, closing it indefinitely. The closure came after police raided the place on March 21 and allegedly found five underage girls performing “improper” acts. “I have canceled their license because they have been operating a business that is different from that which is stated in the license,” he told the Gazette. “My officers went to inspect the place and found, at the back of the building, rows of rooms which the owner told police were for tourist accommodation. “They didn’t have a license to operate a hotel – they had only a restaurant and bar license. I have the authority to withdraw licenses, and that’s what I did. “It is also alleged that they employed underage girls there. Whether they did so, and whether it was for sex or for other purposes, it’s up to them to defend themselves in court,” he said. “That’s their right.” On Saturday, the Governor said, he met a girl who claimed she ran away from Valhalla a few days before the raid. “She is 15 and she told me that she came from Surin province to Phuket with three of the girls who were detained in the raid. She said they had come to Phuket under the impression that they would be working in Valhalla as waitresses,” Gov Pongpayome said. “According to the girl, the four were required to wear bikinis, dance ago-go, and sleep with tourists in the rooms at the back of the complex. After 10 days she ran away to Bangkok. “She was about to go back home when Jenjira [Heepkaew, 37, who blew the whistle on Valhalla] contacted her and persuaded her to come back to Phuket.” The Governor said that he would be passing the girl’s testimony on to the investigating officers. Pol Col Paween Pongsirin, Superintendent of Kathu Police Station, said, “After meeting with Jenjira and the girl, the Governor originally said he would shut Valhalla for a week while investigations were carried out. But now he has changed his mind and has closed the place indefinitely.”

Phuket News
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