Crackdown Sees Patong’s Bangla Bars Closing Early
Scores of police and other Phuket law enforcement officers targeted bars and other nightlife venues on Bangla Road on Monday night, ordering the venue operators to follow the law and close on time. Accordingly, all bars and clubs within the designated “entertainment zone” in Phuket's top party town closed at 1am, while those outside the zone were ordered to close at midnight.
The sortie of officers massed at the traditional police assembly point in front of the police box at the beach end of Bangla Rd at 11pm, when they were briefed on their objectives as paid out by a direct order from Phuket Governor Chockchai Dejamornthan. Delivering their mission was Phuket Provincial Chief Administrative Officer Thawornwat Khongkaew, accompanied by Patong Police Chief Col Chaiwat Uikum and Kathu District Chief Chief Sayan Chanachaiwong, among others.
“I want Phuket to be neat and correct and legal so that officials can take care of security of life and property of tourists and Phuket ‘brothers and sisters’ in order to boost confidence in the image of Phuket Province,” the order read.
The officers separated into five teams to cover the busy area, with the popular Hollywood, White Room, Illusion, Tiger nightclub, Ecstasy nightclub and the renowned Taipan nightclub all raided and “asked for co-operation” in closing on time. The officers also warned the nightlife venue operators not to allow minors under 20 years old into the clubs, nor drugs or weapons were permitted inside such venues.
The officers also warned against participating in human trafficking and to not operate sex shows. “All venues must strictly adhere to the law. Anyone found breaking the law will face prosecution,” Gov Chockchai’s order warned.
Venues were also called on to not break the rules in selling alcohol, which under the Alcohol Act includes the selling of alcohol by promotions, such as “2 for 1” promotions and happy hours. “Any operator found guilty of breaking any of these laws will result in the venue operators having their entertainment licenses revoked,” the order cautioned.