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Fines, suspended jail terms for Koh Pha-ngan partygoers

Fines, suspended jail terms for Koh Pha-ngan partygoers

SURAT THANI: The 109 people caught partying at a bar on Koh Pha-ngnan in contravention of COVID-19 restrictions have been fined B4,000 each.

COVID-19Coronavirushealthcrime
By Bangkok Post

Saturday 30 January 2021, 10:31AM


The 111 people arrested partying in breach of COVID-19 controls at the Three Sixty Bar on Koh Pha-ngan island on Tuesday night were seated well apart when taken to the district office. Photo: Surat Thani immigration / Supapong Chaolan

The 111 people arrested partying in breach of COVID-19 controls at the Three Sixty Bar on Koh Pha-ngan island on Tuesday night were seated well apart when taken to the district office. Photo: Surat Thani immigration / Supapong Chaolan

They were also each sentenced to one month in prison, suspended for one year, reports the Bangkok Post.

The bar owner and a staff member were each fined B10,000 and sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for one year. 

The Koh Samui Provincial Court handed down its judgement on Thursday afternoon via  video conference.

The 111 defendants were at the Koh Pha-ngan district office multi-purpose building. Police took them there instead of the court to reduce the risk of infection. Health officials measured each defendant’s body temperature and they were required to wash their hands with alcohol gel and wear a mask, and they were seated well apart.

A total of 109 customers were detained – 89 foreigners (38 men and  51 women) and 20 Thais (seven men and 13 women) – when immigration and tourist police and local officials raided the Three Sixty Bar in Koh Pha-ngan district on Tuesday night.

Also detained were Pongdaran Lim-ochakul, 40, who admitted being the owner and party organiser, and Somsakul Kiartnarong, 47, a bartender. 

Forty bottles of beer and whisky and a notepad were seized.

CMI - Thailand

Earlier reports said Mr Pongparan admitted only being the owner, while Mr Somsakul admitted being the organiser of the party.

Pol Col Panya Niratmanon, chief of Koh Pha-ngan police, said on Friday that all defendants were charged with illegal gathering in a crowded venue that posed a risk of disease, violating an order by provincial authorities declaring the province a disease control area, and violating the emergency degree to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The owner and the bartender faced additional charges of allowing alcoholic drinks inside the premises in violation of the provincial COVID-19 restrictions.

Mr Pongdaran said he organised the party but was not aware that the order banning such  a gathering was still in force. He thought that because Surat Thai had not recorded a  coronavirus case for 14 days, parties and other activities could resume.

If officials had warned him earlier, he would have cancelled the party, the bar owner said.

Dmitrii Kopylov, 36, a Russian national, said he was at the party because he thought nothing would happen. He accepted the court ruling and offered his apologies to the Thai people.

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Kurt | 31 January 2021 - 11:04:18

For foreigners it is difficult to know all the different almost daily changing location rules, specially for drugs island Koh Phangan. Full responsibility with Thai owner and the Thai organizer. They should have known it was illegal what they did. But what? Just a small fine for the 2 Thai culprits.

Galong | 31 January 2021 - 09:02:03

14 day quarantine in one of the expensive hotels, heavy fine, then deport and black-list. These riff raff do NOTHING to help Thailand. All they do is give the kingdom a bad image. There is no reason give them a break.

Fascinated | 30 January 2021 - 12:39:39

Should have deported the lot of them. 

 

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