Two Phuket nightclubs in the Kathu district have been raided by officials from the Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) and the Volunteer Defense Corps (OrSor). The clubs, the Ratree Club and Mahanakorn Phuket were accused of late trading, public disturbance, serving alcohol to minors, and operating without proper permits.
The raids were carried out early this morning after a plain-clothes officer confirmed the allegations. Residents had filed complaints about the venues staying open late and playing loud music, which prevented them from sleeping. Both clubs regularly hosted hundreds of party-goers throughout the night, serving food and alcohol into the early hours, including underage customers, reported Phuket News.
The Ratree Club stayed open until 4am, while Mahanakorn Phuket remained open until 6am. After the Ratree Club closed, patrons would cross the road to Mahanakorn Phuket, according to the DOPA report. The police undercover teams secured the premises around 3.30am, with many revellers attempting to flee but ultimately being caught by officers who had encircled the venues. Some 10 minors aged between 17 and 19 were taken into custody during the raids.
The DOPA reported filing charges against the owners of the two bars. The owner of Mahanakorn Phuket faced charges of operating an entertainment venue without a permit, selling alcoholic beverages during restricted hours, selling alcoholic beverages to minors, and encouraging youths to behave inappropriately.
The owner of Ratree Club was charged with operating an entertainment venue without a permit and selling alcoholic beverages during restricted hours.
The DOPA report stated that the cases would be reported to Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew with a request to have the venues ordered closed for five years, in accordance with National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) direct order No. 22/2558.
The DOPA Inspector-General Narong Thipsiri instructed officials to crack down on entertainment venues operating illegally, specifically targeting those that:
- Allow people under the age of 20 to enter the venue.
- Sell alcohol to people under the age of 20.
- Operate entertainment venues during restricted hours.
- Sell alcohol during restricted hours.
- Allow people who possess weapons, explosives, and drugs to enter the premises.
- Allow human trafficking on the premises.
- Allow gambling on the premises.
- Are located near schools or education premises.
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