After the arrest of 13 party-goers, most of them foreigners, at a poolside party on Saturday, police in Pattaya are also warning that they are aware of other locations and venues where the emergency decree laws are being openly flouted. They warn that if the violations continue, they will be forced to take further action leading to all those arrested being prosecuted and facing serious penalties before the courts. Many Thai nationals arrested on such charges have already been sent to prison for terms ranging for 1 month to six months for deliberately defying the law which the courts are taking a particularly dim view of at this time.
Two reported raids over the weekend have caused further damage to the reputation of foreigners in Thailand as the country struggles through the Covid 19 emergency which has cost millions their livelihoods. On Saturday, Pattaya police announced the arrest of 13 foreigners at a well-known resort in the city for running a poolside party while in Ko Pha Ngan 18 foreigners, including a Russian tenant and his guests, were taken away by the police force on the island famous for the now-defunct half-moon party. They were also found flouting the law and giving Thai efforts to control this deadly virus the two fingers.
Pattaya Police on Saturday night announced the arrest of another group of foreign party people who think they are above the law. This time at the poolside setting of the well known Momento Beach resort in the now-closed up tourist city.
Police at the scene reported that many were British, French or German nationals including some Thai girls. Many of those at the party, however, to their credit, were seen to be sporting face masks.
Owners of the property also caught up in the police net on Saturday and to face charges in court
The raid resulted in the owners of the property as well as 13 party goers being taken into custody and being interviewed at the local police station.
It was the second raid in a few days involving groups of foreigners in Thailand.
The raids portray the expat and foreign community in a very poor light. The damage caused at this time by such incidents is incalculable.
Police announced the raid on social media noting the flagrant breach of the law by partying foreigners
This latest raid in Pattaya was announced by the Pattaya police themselves through their own social media pages.
It highlighted the fact that the party of foreign residents found drinking alcohol and socialising in a group including some Thai women, were transgressing Thailand’s national laws and regulations set down by the government amid a national emergency.
Pattaya is an infection hotspot
Pattaya is one of the areas in Thailand with a high infection rate for the virus with over 80% of those infected being foreigners.
This weekend’s raid and arrests play into the negative stereotyping of foreigners since the virus emergency began.
This has seen Pattaya placed on lockdown this week with areas of the city frequented by foreigners and where the foreign population live, being openly and specifically targeted for security and screening measures.
Pattaya’s particularly severe lockdown is expected to be in place until at least April 30th. Current non-residents or those who do not work in the city are prohibited from entering its environs.
Raid caused by a tip-off from local sources
Saturday’s raid by police officers and officials follows a tip-off from local sources to Pattaya police and other government agencies.
Local government officials, as well as tourist police, were also involved in the operation.
The raid and the arrests were part of a special operation agreed by authorities to enforce the law and make an example.
Other locations in Pattaya now being warned by police that there are severe consequences for those arrested
The Pattaya police also warned that they are aware of other locations in the city and will have to act against them if this law-breaking activity does not cease.
All those arrested in such raids will face being found guilty of a serious offence when brought before the courts and this should be borne in mind by anyone thinking of contravening the emergency laws which treats such gatherings, without exception, as an illegal act and criminal offence.
The law is also interpreted strictly so claiming a misunderstanding is no basis for a defence if charged.
Violation of the emergency decree and associated local orders which expressly prohibit poolside parties
The convivial poolside party breached the emergency decree on several fronts including the serving of alcohol and also a ban on social gatherings and larger groups of people.
It is also violating local orders which specifically closed all poolside areas and such environments during this emergency where laws have been promulgated giving government officials at local level extra powers to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
Police are reporting that most of those arrested are not current hotel guests from a small number of establishments still open but regular bar goers seeking an opportunity to breach the social distancing and lockdown rules.
Police officers in Pattaya have made it quite clear that no social gatherings or activities are allowed or are legal at this time
All those found at the scene arrested and taken in for processing which will lead to a criminal prosecution
All those arrested and transported off to the local police station will, according to Pattaya police, face the full rigour of the law including court proceedings.
Courts are empowered to impose a fine of up to ฿100,000 or up to two years in prison.
Many cases coming before the courts involving Thai nationals have seen stiff sentences of four to six months being imposed.
On Friday, April 3rd, 16 party-goers found on a party raft in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya province were sentenced to four months in prison for breaching the emergency decree and local regulations.
Police in Pattaya are stressing that this group will be prosecuted for blatantly infringing the law.
They have also said that the management and owners of the resort will also be brought before the courts.
Raid at the weekend also on Ko Pha Ngan
The raid on Saturday follows a similar incident days earlier on Ko Pha-ngan where a large residence being rented on the island by a Russian man was raided by police.
Police, when they arrived initially at the home, found 17 motorbikes outside. They also heard loud music emanating from inside.
Police entering the property found themselves in the midst of a party with strewn alcohol bottles and music
Police entering the residence with its own pool found themselves amid a large party.
Officers on the second floor of the property found many alcohol bottles and a laptop connected to a music system while in another part of the house by the pool, they discovered up to 18 people.
All were arrested for violating the emergency decree and other local regulations against such activity at this time.
Local village headman called in the police
The gathering was another brazen breach of the law and act of disrespect for efforts in Thailand to defeat this virus.
It was made known to police on the island following a tip-off from the Headman of the local village.
He told police officers that the occupants of the property had been partying on a regular basis where music was being played with drinks being served.
Police raiding the scene, however, notably, did not find any illicit drugs or other substances.
Russian tenant said he was simply socialising with friends which is now illegal in Thailand
The Russian tenant of the property explained to police that he was merely socialising with friends who he had invited to his home for drinks and a chat.
This of course sadly, under the current state of emergency and coronavirus lockdown measures is, for now, a serious and prosecutable offence.