PUBLISHED : 10 Dec 2023 at 09:18
A total of 122 pub goers were tested positive for drugs in a raid on a pub in Bangkok’s Lat Phrao district led by Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul in the small hours on Sunday, Interior Ministry spokesperson Traisuree Taisoranakul said.
Apart from Mr Anutin, Department of Provincial Administration director-general Ansit Sampanthurat also took part in the raid by about 30 territorial defence volunteers and Chok Chai police.
The 2.20am raid on Sonic Club Bangkok on Praditmanutham road followed an investigation which found the pub had been a hub of drug users and served as a place for the distribution of drugs to retailers in an area along the Ram Intra expressway.
At the time, 214 customers were inside the pub. They tried in vain to flee because the raiders blocked all of the exits. Of them, one was under 20 years of age and seven did not carry a national identification card.
In subsequent urine tests, 122 of them – 76 men and 46 women – were found positive for drugs. The drug users would be put into a rehabilitation process on a voluntary basis. Legal action would be taken against those who refused to enter the process, Ms Traisuree said.
Sonic Club Bangkok was found to have been open as an entertainment venue where food and alcoholic drinks were served with a musical band playing for customers to dance.
The place had operated without a permit. Drug use was rampant inside. During the raid, the authorities found many sachets of various kinds of drugs including ecstasy, ketamine and methamphetamine pills scattered on the floor. Happy water, a new kind of drug, was also available in the pub.
Ms Traisuree said the pub owner and those who were involved in its operation were arrested and charged with opening the place without a permit, selling alcoholic drinks to youngsters under 20 years of age, selling alcohol beyond the time limit and allowing use of drugs.
The authorities would recommend the Interior Ministry to issue and order to close the place for five years under the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)’s order No 22/2015, she said.