Advances in charges against operators of mass party halls in Phuket

PHUKET: Patong Police Chief Col. Sujin Nilabodi has confirmed that officials at the three locations where the mass parties were held in Phuket last month, marking the start of ‘third wave’ infections on the ‘island, will face charges under the emergency decree.

Screenshot from a video of one of the three parties held in Phuket last weekend. Screenshot: via Eakkapop Thongtub

The “evenings”, organized by Kolour beachside, at Cafe Del Mar Phuket in Kamala, at Illuzion nightclub on Bangla Rd and at Shelter Phuket Dance & Night Club, also in Patong.

The holidays took place on April 2-3.

On April 7, the head of the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO), Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon, confirmed that Phuket had registered eight new cases of people infected with COVID-19.

At least four of those cases had attended the parties, he also confirmed.

Prior to April 7, Phuket had known 103 days without any new infections.

“We have just submitted the case report to [public] prosecutor yesterday, ”Colonel Sujin said Phuket News today (May 13).

Police are laying charges against three people, he said.

“We are pursuing legal proceedings against the general manager [one person] and the manager [one person] Shelter and Illuzion nightclubs [both clubs are under the same management], and the manager of Café Del Mar, ”said Col Sujin.

“All three are accused of having violated the emergency decree,” he confirmed.

“But the CEO and director of Shelter also face a charge of operating an unlicensed entertainment venue,” he added.

Article 9 of the emergency decree on public administration in emergency situations BE 2548 provides that any person found guilty of violating the emergency decree is liable to a prison sentence of up to two years or a fine of up to B 40,000 or both.

Section 26 of the Place of Entertainment Act BE 2509 (1966) states that anyone found guilty of operating an entertainment venue without a license is liable to a prison sentence of up to one year or ” a fine of up to B60,000 or both.

Colonel Sujin explained that the delay in filing charges with the Phuket Public Prosecutor’s Office followed Region 8 Police Commander Lt. Gen. Kitrat Panpetch, who ordered the establishment of a committee of special investigation to oversee the investigation.

The investigation committee included officers from Area 8 Police, Phuket Provincial Police, Patong Police and Kamala Police, Colonel Sujin added.

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