Patong Late Trading Crackdown Continues
The Patong Police have confirmed they are still raiding and shutting down bars and nightclubs along and near Bangla Rd if they are caught trading past the legal closing times. “There has not been any special order to crack down on late trading. We are just following the Phuket Governor’s policy by law,” Patong Police Chief Col Chaiwat Uikam told The Phuket News in an interview yesterday.
The news follows Tai Pan, one of the party area’s most popular late-night clubs, being closed for days last week amid silence from the owners. The club reopened last night.
However, the order to crack down on late trading in Patong came under the governance of Phuket’s previous Governor, Chockchai Dejamornthan. Gov Chockchai was then transferred to Bangkok by direct order from Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha with immediate effect on April 4.
Meanwhile, Phuket’s new Governor, Norraphat Plodthong, who arrived on the island on April 10, has yet to make any public comment on late trading in the party town.
“We are upholding the existing law. Some places can stay open to 1am and others can stay open to 2am, depending on which type of entertainment licence the venue has,” Col Chaiwat explained. “Please be careful, some issues are sensitive. This is all I can tell you,” he said.
Meanwhile, Phuket officials and leading nightlife operators in Patong reported only last week that they had no idea on how the formal request by former Governor Chockchai to allow entertainment venues along Bangla Rd to stay open until 4am is progressing – more than two months after the request was filed.
PM Prayut’s order to transfer Gov Chockchai followed the Prime Minister directly confirming that a Patong Police investigator had been moved out Phuket’s busiest resort town pending an investigation into allegations of corruption.
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