Dr Prapa Nakara, who as Director of the PPHO’s Non-communicable Diseases division directly heads the enforcement of alcohol-related regulations on the island, told The Phuket News earlier this week that her office was unaware that vendors at the popular Chillva Market in Samkong were still promoting and selling alcohol, despite a raid at the market on Dec 26.
During the raid, health officials explained that no vendors at Chillva Market were permitted to sell alcohol at all, nevermind promote it, as the market was within 300 metres of a school.
Worse, it was also discovered that the operators of the seven bars at the market were selling alcohol on the pretence that they were legal – but could only provide permits that had already expired a year earlier. (See story here.)
The raid initially was aimed at bringing the vendors into line as they were flagrantly breaking alcohol-promotion laws by promoting and providing two-for-one deals, special discounts and including alcohol among the “specials” along with food.
The return of alcohol sales at the market came to light with a visitor presenting photographs showing a venue plainly promoting alcohol on a board outside its premises.
“We will start collecting evidence on this, starting with this sign,” Dr Prapha said.
“These vendors have already been warned – and been found breaking the law – about the illegal sale and promotion of alcohol.
“Next, I must send a warning notice to that business and send a formal request to local police and the municipality asking them to do their job. I have to tell them,” Dr Prapa said.
However, she added, “I am not available right now as I have working in Bangkok. I will follow up next week.”
After the raids over the Christmas holidays in December, Dr Prapa said that from Dec 29, the PPHO had been ordered to take legal action against any offenders caught breaking the law, follownig orders from Bangkok.
“Also, any offenders caught will be reported to the Office of the Alcohol Control Committee in Bangkok,” Dr Prapha said.
However, the actual enforcement will be left to the police, Dr Prapha admitted.
“All of these provisions are for the local police to enforce. If the police do nothing, there is nothing the PPHO can do,” she said. (See story here.)