PHUKET TOWN: A 3 am swoop by police on the Violin karaoke bar on Phang Nga Rd on Saturday netted seven ‘VIP’ patrons and six hostesses drinking after hours. Officers found the after-hours party padlocked behind reinforced doors, front and rear. It took them an hour to saw through the locks. The 13 people arrested, who were each fined 100 baht for drinking after hours, were all found in a VIP room, where officers also discovered and confiscated a bottle of imported whiskey. Twenty other patrons and a number of hostesses were found in the main section of the club. The raid, by some 20 officers led by Wiroj Suwanawong, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Defense Office (PPDO), and Pol Lt Col Chartchai Nikorthanon, Deputy Superintendent of Phuket Town Police Station, was sparked by an anonymous complaint. Col Chartchai told the Gazette that club manager Wichai Chidnork had been found in possession of a ledger detailing hours worked by the hostesses and payments they had received from clients of the club. He said that Wichai was charged with illegally providing a venue and staff for massage services, with being open after 2 am, and with selling alcohol after hours. “Investigations are continuing into reports of prostitution at the Violin karaoke bar and the case has been passed to the PPDO,” said Col Chartchai, adding that any decision to close the venue would be up to the Phuket Town Municipality.
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