Western foreigners were taken away by police and held in custody after being found in a local Pattaya bar in defiance of Thailand’s emergency decree banning all bars opening and drinking alcohol in public. Their arrest came after police raided the venue in Nong Prue on Saturday night following a tip-off.
Three middle-aged western foreigners were arrested in Pattaya on Saturday night on suspicion of consuming alcohol and partying at ‘The Pussycat Club’ in the Nong Prue area of the city. The trio were taken into custody with five Thai women and will appear in due course before a criminal court charged with breach of the Covid 19 emergency decree and face a potential jail term of up to 2 years imprisonment.
Several foreigners were among the customers and bar workers at a Pattaya bar arrested and taken into custody on Saturday night.
It comes as Thailand tentatively took its first steps on Sunday to reopen with the first wave of business premises welcoming customers albeit under stringent health checks and hygiene conditions.
The full reopening of business across the board could be complete by early July if the infection rate of the Covid 19 virus can be held in check.
Bars and entertainment venues may be opened in June or early July as authorities monitor the infection rate
There is some speculation that bars and entertainment venues may be reopened from June onwards depending on their size and location.
The government, through its Covid 19 centre and medical panel, is carrying out regular reviews of the infection rate.
Venue raided named by police as ‘The Pussycat Club’
The defiance of the law by the owner of the bar in the Village 6 area of Nong Prue on Saturday night will not help matters.
The raid on the premises by police took place at 9 pm.
Police have named the venue as the ‘Pussycat Club’.
Irate neighbour tipped of authorities
The raid resulted from a tip-off to authorities by an irate neighbour who told the police the venue had been opening and selling alcohol during the emergency.
This was despite a sign on the front which said ‘Closed’ and indications at the front of the premises that it was not open for business.
This is what police initially found when they arrived at the scene. There was no front lighting.
One western foreigner didn’t even have a face mask
One western looking foreigner, among 8 people in the bar when police arrived, was not even wearing a face mask or did not appear to be in possession of one.
As police questioned the owner and examined evidence at the scene, he appeared to put a napkin to his mouth to disguise his predicament.
Owner came clean and admitted to police that the establishment was breaking the law by opening
The owner of the ‘Pussycat Club’, 41-year-old Ms Chanita Kiddee, put her hands up immediately and admitted to police that the establishment was open for business despite the deception at the front of the building.
Police found 3 western foreigners among those frequenting the bar along with a number of Thai women including the owner, Ms Chanita.
Repeated police warnings in Pattaya
Pattaya police have repeatedly warned that they are aware of such illicit activity throughout the resort city and that a firm hand will be taken with anyone breaking the law.
The courts in Thailand have also taken a dim view of this carry on with quite a few coming before judges in recent weeks being jailed for terms of up to 4 months even though the emergency law provides for a term of imprisonment of up to two years.
Punters carted off in police pickups to jail
The eight arrested people were removed from the premises by Nong Prue police in the back of two police pickups. They were taken to the local police station where they were all held in custody.
Commitment to prosecute all those arrested before the courts on charges of breaching emergency laws
The raid was led by Pornchai Sungiad, the permanent secretary of Banglamung Security Division and Police Colonel Kengsart Nuanphong of Nong Prue police.
Police in Pattaya have given a commitment to the public that anyone arrested in such circumstances will be legally processed through the court system and face charges without exception.