11 July 2024

A pub in Bangkok’s Ram Inthra area was ordered closed for five years as an initial penalty after it was found to have been operating with an expired license for the last three years, and more than 120 of its patrons failed drug screening late Saturday night.

A police source said that the raid on the “Sonic” pub was carried out after the Interior Ministry learned that the pub often stays open beyond the 2am legal closing time and that illegal drugs were available there.

Some customers tried to flee, but were rounded up by the officials. All 214 patrons in the premises at the time of the raid were searched and tested for drugs, which returned 122 positive results.  Officials found many “baggies” scattered on the floor, which are commonly used for the distribution of illegal recreational substances.

Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul who was at the scene told the media that the pub has rooms specifically for customers who wish to take drugs.  Crystal meth, Ecstasy, Ketamine and “Happy Water” were found on the premises.

Happy Water is a colourless and odourless synthetic drug in liquid form, which is usually mixed with methamphetamine or Ketamine.

He also said that police will identify who the real owner of this venue is, adding the raid will not affect the government’s plan to extend licencing hours for entertainment establishments until 4am, effective December 15th.

The new licencing hours will apply in Bangkok, Phuket, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai and Ko Samui on a trial basis, to boost tourism and its related businesses.