Banglamung steps up bar raids, warns operators on drugs, minors

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Pattaya entertainment businesses were warned again to crack down on drugs, weapons and minors as Banglamung District this month joins police in inspecting bars and clubs for violations.

New District Chief Chaowalit Saeng-Uthai told about 200 area bar owners that bureaucrats would be joining police in impromptu inspections, looking for unlicensed venues, drug sales or use, and checking identification cards.

(L to R) Tatpol Iam-ngam, deputy district chief, Security Division; Noraset Sritapatso, senior deputy district chief of Banglamung; Chaowalit Saeng-Uthai, Banglamung district chief; Pol. Col. Nanthawut Suwanla-Ong, superintendent of Pattaya Police; Pol. Lt. Col. Kritsakorn Thong-In, deputy superintendent of Pattaya Police, Crime Suppression; and Bandit Siritanyong, Pattaya Entrepreneurs club president lay down the law with entertainment entrepreneurs. (L to R) Tatpol Iam-ngam, deputy district chief, Security Division; Noraset Sritapatso, senior deputy district chief of Banglamung; Chaowalit Saeng-Uthai, Banglamung district chief; Pol. Col. Nanthawut Suwanla-Ong, superintendent of Pattaya Police; Pol. Lt. Col. Kritsakorn Thong-In, deputy superintendent of Pattaya Police, Crime Suppression; and Bandit Siritanyong, Pattaya Entrepreneurs club president lay down the law with entertainment entrepreneurs.

Chaowalit, along with Pattaya Police Superintendent Col. Nanthawut Suwanla-Ong, noted that entertainment venues continue to flout city regulations on closing times and serving customers under age 20. He said that while a sweeping revision of city zoning laws now underway may eventually solve such problems, the new plan will not be approved for some time and that improvements are needed now.

Specifically, he said, many entertainment venues are still operating without licenses and he suggested they get licensed before they get caught. Further, officials want clubs to better check for weapons and ID cards before allowing customers in.

He also said more work is needed to not only prevent drugs from being sold in entertainment venues, but to ensure bar employees are not using narcotics themselves.

Chaowalit said if bar raids starting in June find violations, venues are subject to fines and at least temporarily closure. He added that if facilities are found to have short-time room rentals, they will be closed permanently.