121 Arrested for Drinking Alcohol and Gathering in Pattaya

Local media reported yesterday that 121 people, including Thais and foreigners, were arrested in a South Pattaya raid for allegedly drinking alcohol and smoking shisha and related products in two restaurants that violated the current emergency decree announced to prevent the spread of COVID- 19.

Chonburi Provincial Police and local officers raided two establishments in South Pattaya at 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

Police said the two restaurants had secretly become bars and shisha lounges, but all entertainment venues must remain closed under the country’s current law. Also, shisha has been illegal in Thailand for some time.

The sale and consumption of alcohol at restaurants had also been banned under Chonburi’s disease control rules, authorities said.

The arrest came after concerned local residents reported the situation to Pattaya Police. According to the media, citizens feared that the virus would spread in the area, as most COVID-19 clusters have developed from people who do not obey the rules or comply with security measures.

A Chonburi Provincial Police’s team led by Colonel Santi Kornkasem and the Pattaya City Police raided two venues, “The Garden 168” and “Mo Salah” bar and restaurant, from midnight to 2:00 a.m.

In the first raid, carried out at The Garden 168 on South Pattaya Road, 28 people and a manager were arrested after being found drinking alcohol. The second raid was on the four-story Mo Salah on Walking Street, where police arrested 72 people after finding that customers were consuming alcohol at ten tables on the third floor.

Clients tried to flee to several rooms, and some climbed down from the building and tried to hide in restrooms, rooftops, and under leaves and branches.

However, all of them were caught, according to Chonburi police and officers also found 30 shisha pipes in a room.

Additionally, another 20 people who allegedly gathered in groups and drank alcohol on nearby Pattaya beach were also detained for violating COVID-19 restrictions, including social distancing.

All the detainees were transferred to the Pattaya City Police Station for further legal proceedings.