The investigation follows Maj Gen Uthai Kawindechathorn, Chief of the Phetchaburi Provincial Police, posting a video on his personal Facebook page yesterday, with a long post calling for police in Phuket to step up their efforts to prevent such public disturbances.
"Let a picture tell the story, on holiday at my house in Phuket and tomorrow I have to wake up early to go back to Phetchaburi, trying to sleep while hearing loud music with a heavy bass sound,” Maj Gen Uthai wrote.
“Actually, I thought it should stop at 3am. Come on, I understand [that during] this crisis time sympathy is important to all people but until 4:30 am, I could not stand this anymore.
“I rode my kid’s bike to take a [video] clip and called 191 in the event of an offense. The music stopped at 04.45am. I wonder whether next time I come home [to Phuket] if I would better to bring my officers from Phetchaburi here to investigate and arrest venues as in cases like this that [where venues are] open until 4-5am in the morning, with a loud music disturbing residents in the area, not concerned about disturbing anyone.
“It is obviously an offence and police will catch the owner as well as their supporters. Let’s see who will answer for this… Please do not let people be distrubed [like this], you [the police] get salaries from the citizens’ tax so please be concerned about the public,” Maj Gen Uthai noted.
Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Pornsak Nuannu and Phuket City Police Chief Col Teerawat Liamsuwan responded through a post by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket) yesterday.
“Police have been arresting entertainment venues in Phuket for disturbing people, in accordance with the policy of the Royal Thai Police,” Maj Gen Pornsak said.
“In particular, the owner of the bar named as H20 in Phuket Town has been arrested two times (Feb 18 and 19),” he said.
Of note, the H20 nightlife venue, located on Soi Limsui Zhu, was highlighted in the video posted by Maj Uthai.
The Phuket News contacted the three venues seen in the video. The operators of all three venues said they provided music at night, but also said that they stopped the music at midnight and closed their venues at 2am in accordance with their entertainment licences.
Phuket City Police Chief Col Teerawat said that officers had inspected entertainment venues last Friday (Feb19) in accordance with the Phuket order that entertainment venues must close by the specified time.
“Officers found that a bar named as ‘H20 Club 552’ violated the Phuket provincial order regarding the COVID-19 control measures, operating without a license and selling or providing services for baraku and electric baraku,” said Col Teerawat. (See story here.)
However, according to the PR Phuket report, both Maj Gen Pornsak and Col Teerawat made no specific mention of whether or not police actually responded to Maj Uthai’s call at 4:30am yesterday morning.
The PR Phuket post included photos of police raiding unspecified nightlife venues, but did not specifically clarify which venues the photos show being raided or when the photos were taken.
“The Phuket Provincial Police will have Col Akit Darnpitaksart as an investigator to examine further the facts of the incident, and will proceed with legal action as soon as possible within three days,” Maj Gen Pornsak said.
“All entertainment operators must be under the law. Additional penalties will be prosecuted if any violations are found, including entertainment venues that appear like this news,” he added.