Chonburi Police stakeholder in 3rd Road bar claims raids by local officers ‘unfair’

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The head of Chonburi’s Provincial Police academy, who owns a large stake in an unlicensed Third Road bar, says he will complain to the Prime Minister’s Office that frequent Pattaya Police raids for illegal alcohol sales and loud music are unfair and hurting his income.

Openly admitting the Lan La entertainment venue on 3rd Road is operating without proper licenses, Col. Panom Charoenporn, commander of the Khao Noi Academy, nonetheless maintains the bar should be allowed to continue to sell alcohol and stage musical performances without being “unfairly” subjected to established entertainment laws by local police brethren.

Col. Panom Charoenporn, commander of the Khao Noi Academy, maintains his bar should be allowed to continue to operate. Col. Panom Charoenporn, commander of the Khao Noi Academy, maintains his bar should be allowed to continue to operate.

Maj. Suparuk Yooprai, a crime suppression investigator at the Pattaya Police Station, obviously sees it differently. He said authorities have received multiple complaints about Lan La and that officers who inspected the bar found it was illegally selling alcohol and providing entertainment. Management, however, could not provide any licenses allowing them to do so.

“Officers will raid this entertainment location anytime they see fit, because of its non-licensed operations,” Suparuk said.

Panom – who said he owns 25 percent of Lan La – began his protests for special treatment after majority owner Somrak Thungkrai, 29, was arrested during a Nov. 23 midnight raid. Police shut down the bar and then returned several times over the following days, each time closing the bar for operating illegally.

Neglecting the fact the bar doesn’t have a license to open at all, the police academy head claims the raids were unfair because they occurred during legal operating hours. He said he will take his case to Parliament, to court and even the Prime Minister’s Office to get the treatment he believes he deserves.

Panom claims he applied for a license for Lan La, but Pattaya City Hall denied it because the bar is located outside the allowed zone for entertainment venues. He maintains, however, that the city has no jurisdiction over businesses outside that zone and that he is being persecuted.

“Everyone can claim the raids were done based on complaints, but they should be done based on the law and not carried out as they were,” Panom said.