Police to crack down on entertainment venue hours
PHUKET: Phuket police are to rigorously enforce bar closing hours following the murderous attack on Sri Panwa General Manager Vorasit “Plawan” Issara by staff of the Rachada Pub in Poonphol on January 4, at around 3.30 am.
Tuesday 10 January 2012, 11:36AM
Yesterday afternoon (January 9), the new Commander of Phuket Police, Maj Gen Chonasit Wattanavrangkul, arranged a meeting with more than 110 owners or representatives of entertainment venues in Phuket City to discuss the laws relating to bars and the responsibilities of bar staff.
The establishments invited to the meeting included bars, night clubs, pubs, karaoke places, massage parlours and restaurants that open until late.
“One of responsibilities of bar staff is to stop customers from brawling, not to brawl with customers,” said Gen Chonasit.
He stressed the law that sets the minimum age of staff at 18, and told those at the meeting to check on the backgrounds of their staff. He also told them to observe staff behaviour to see whether employees are using drugs or bringing weapons onto the premises.
Those at the meeting listened, but few spoke.
One who did was a representative of the Pink Lady Night Club in Phuket Town. He said, “It should be fine if opening hours of Phuket entertainment venues are expanded [beyond 2am],” he argued before complaining, “When this incident occurred, every entertainment venue is dragged in to take responsibility.”
On the day of the attack six staff of the Rachada Pub were rounded up and some were charged with attempted murder.
Police interviewed witnesses and the accused, and identified two more men involved in the attack. One of these, Komsan Ngamwilai, 27, was arrested on Sunday night (January 8) and charged with taking part in the attack on Mr Vorasit. Another is still at large.
The pub itself was ordered to close for 90 days. That period may be extended if the pub is found have been operating without a licence.
Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha told media on January 5 that about 200 of the estimated 700 entertainment venues on Phuket do not have licences.
Gov Tri said that he believed that most of the unlicenced venues were trying to dodge taxes. It was also easier for them “to run away from any possible problems,” he added.