The two nightlife venues, Maldives and H2O on Lim Sui Ju Rd on the south side of Phuket Town, were ordered to close immediately following the orders issued by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew yesterday (Mar 5).
The orders noted that the operators of both venues had separately violated a raft of laws, but none of the violations were for noise.
The Maldives nightclub was ordered closed for five years under provincial order 1232/2564.
The order explained that on Feb 18 Phuket City Police inspected the venue and arrested the manager, named as Ms Mintra Yindamnoon, for the charge of operating an entertainment venue without a permit, selling alcohol without a permit and for allowing people younger than 20 years old to work or “use services in the venue”.
The acts violated National Council of Peace and Order (NCPO) order 22/2558 and 46/2559. The manager was found guilty by Phuket Khwaeng Court (Municipal Court) as confirmed by judgments handed down for Black Case 164/2564 and Red Case 136/2564, said a report announcing the closures.
The court judgement noted that the defendant was to be punished for each violation under Section 91 of the Criminal Code.
However, as the defendant had entered a plea of guilty to each charge, the court would reduce the punishment to half, as follows:
- B10,000 fine for operating an entertainment venue without a permit;
- B5,000 fine for violating or failing to comply with the order of Phuket Provincial Communicable Disease Control Committee;
- B250 for selling alcohol without permission; and
- B10,000 fine for encouraging and supporting youths to behave in an unreasonable manner.
In short, the total fines handed down was just B25,250.
Governor Narong cited his authority under the Section 4 of NCPO order 22/2558 to order the Maldives nightclub to be closed for five years, from Mar 5, 2021 to Mar 4, 2026.
The order also banned the operators from opening any other entertainment venue elsewhere during the same period.
If caught violating the order, the venue owner and manager faced a penalty of up to one-year imprisonment or a fine of up to B20,000 or both.
The owner and manager of the venue have the right to file an appeal with the Phuket Administrative Court within 90 days from the date of the order.
The H2O nightclub was ordered closed by provincial order 1233/2564, also issued yesterday.
The order explained that Phuket City Police had inspected the venue and later charged the operator, named as Mr Thipasut Prateep Na Thalang, for selling or providing baraku (shisha) without permission, operating an entertainment venue without a permit and violating the Phuket provincial order enforcing COVID-19 protection measures.
Unlike the order closing the Maldvies venue, the order to close H2O did not confirm what penalties, if any, Mr Thipasut was handed down for the violations.
Instead, Governor Narong cited his authority under Revolution Council announcement No 50, issued on Jan 15, 1959, to order the venue to close for 30 days, from March 5, 2021 to April 3, 2021.
If found violating the order, the operator faced up to 10 days imprisonment or a fine of up to B500,or both.
The operator of H2O also had the right to appeal the closure, the order noted.
To do so, the operator had 15 days to file an appeal directly with the Phuket Governor, the order concluded.