“We need to repeat to entertainment venue operators what the closing times are by law after we found some venues are still closing very late,” Patong Police Chief Col Tassanai Orarigadech told The Phuket News today (Sept 25).
Col Tassanai hinted that the bar and nightclub operators are likely to be called in either tomorrow or Wednesday (Sept 26-27).
Col Tassanai declined to identify which venues were found to be trading illegally after legal closing times.
“More details will be talked about in the meeting,” he said.
“We know that [venue] operators are affected by the current closing times, but we have our job to do. That’s why when I call them in, we can talk about it together and we will gather some feedback from them,” Col Tassanai added.
The latest reinforcement of nightlife closing times follows a purge during the tourism high season earlier this year that saw hordes of revellers being turned out onto the streets in a series of raids on January 30. (See story here.)
In that crackdown, officials forced all bars and clubs within the designated “entertainment zone” in Patong to close at the legal time of 1am, while those outside the zone were ordered to close at midnight.
The officers separated into five teams to cover the busy Bangla Rd area, with the popular Hollywood, White Room, Illusion, Tiger nightclub, Ecstasy nightclub and the renowned Taipan nightclub all raided and “asked for co-operation” in closing on time in accordance with the law.
A sortie of Patong nightlife operators in February were successful in having then-Governor Chockchai Dejamornthan signing and forwarding to Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and the Ministry of Interior a special request to extend the nightlife trading hours in Patong to 4am. (See story here.)
Since then, however, all attempts to confirm whether the request was even under consideration have been met with nothing more than silence. (See story here.)