11 July 2024

325 people aged between 16 and 20 were found inside a pub in Muang district of the northern province of Chiang Rai early this morning (Saturday) when it was raided by police and officials from the Department of Juvenile Observation and Protection.

Several other youths fled on their motorcycles when they saw the officials arrive at the Par Club, a spacious night spot in downtown Chiang Rai.

The raid was carried out at about 2am after the Damrongtham Centre had received complaints from parents that their children had visited the pub, which stays open until 4am.

Officials said that one high-school student visited the pub on July 17th and died in a road accident after he left the premises on a motorcycle.

They said that most of the patrons, who are mostly underage, regularly visit the pub after 1am and stay there until it closes.

After entering the pub, the officials ordered the staff to switch the lights on and the musicians to stop playing. They then searched the premises and found three locked fire exits, apparently to prevent the patrons from leaving without paying their bills.

They then checked the ID cards of the patrons and found all 325 of them are under 20, with the youngest ones being just 16. 50 of them were not carrying their ID cards.

The officials later charged the owner of the pub with multiple offences, including operating the venue beyond permissible hours, allowing underage people to enter the premises and selling alcohol to people who are underage.

An official told the media that the provincial governor will be asked to revoke the pub owner’s license and to close the premises for five years.

In Thailand, you must be 20-years-old to buy alcohol legally.