Police raid 4 Phuket venues for underage drinking

PHOTO: Police raided four Phuket City venues for underage drinking. (via Muang Phuket District Office)

Raids in Phuket last night saw police targeting businesses accused of selling alcohol to minors. Police say they received numerous complaints that some venues in the area were selling alcohol to children. The legal age for drinking in Thailand is 20 years old.

Last night officials from many local and provincial police forces and government departments descended on a number of bars. They raided the venues between 9.30pm and 11pm. Some suggested the show of force may have been a bit overblown as, among the police departments, officers from the Department of Provincial Administration were seen wearing bullet-proof vests.

The venues busted for allegedly serving alcohol to minors were Mars Bar at Chillva Market, Sister Yum Restaurant, Up to You Bar, and Mao Lay. One person from each venue was arrested, aged between 21 and 49 years old. They were identified only by their first names and the police did not release details on their position at each venue.

Though the raid was related to accusations of selling alcohol to minors, the Phuket News reports that all four people from all four venues were charged only with “selling liquor without permission” suggesting that they perhaps did not have liquor licenses or had some other similar issue.

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The four bar staff were taken into custody and transferred to Phuket City Police Station for charging, reportedly having confessed to the crime.

The raids were ordered directly by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew according to a statement released by the Muang District Office. A raft of high-level police officials were involved according to the statement. Vice Governor Pichet Panapong was named, along with the Chief Administrative Officer of Phuket Province, and the district chief and deputy district chief of Muang Phuket.

The Phuket City Police led the raid, along with the Department of Provincial Administration. There was no mention of what prompted police to don bullet-proof vests or if there was some suggested imminent threat that would warrant them.

Crime NewsPhuket News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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