According to a report this morning in the Bangkok Post, the booze ban hammer was being swung already as police shut down Sanrak Hut bar last night at 9pm as it’s located near the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.
The problem with the article is it’s all over the place mixing up the proposal to ban the sale of alcohol within 300m of universities & technical colleges that was signed by the Prime Minister on Monday, that hasn’t been made law yet, and a new law passed on Thursday under Section 44 of the interim charter that included new laws to tackle the sale of alcohol near both schools and universities, illegal street racing and illegally operated nightclubs.
Under the rules of Section 44, any new laws passed are effective immediately unlike the original bill proposal which wouldn’t come into effect until 30 days after it was published in the Royal Gazette, which hasn’t happened yet and now unlikely to as the new law passed on Thursday covers all that was proposed with a much more vaguely worded bill.
The 300m has been dropped and replaced with the word “near” when describing the distance from any educational facility be it a school, college or university. There are no clauses like the first unpublished bill signed that seen bars, clubs and restaurants currently licensed allowed to continue operating as normal, which would likely have prevented the bar mentioned in the Post article from being closed down. Whether that closure is temporary or permanent I don’t know as the reporter failed to mention this or ask the bar owner as part of their interview.
The new laws and the use of the word “near” now cover restaurants, events like the Central World pop-up beer gardens, bars around Soi Cowboy and dozens of other outlets and venues selling alcohol within 300m of a university that would have fallen foul of the initial law if passed to carry on as normal.
The measures that came into effect on Thursday are tough on those who break the law and will see licenses permanently revoked or five year bans for bars and clubs allowing entry or selling alcohol to anyone under the age of 20. The same rules apply to those who operate beyond their legal operating hours. Both of which are commonplace as we’ve seen in recent weeks when high profile busts have been carried out around Bangkok by high ranking police officers.
Additionally, bars and clubs open late who have complaints lodged against them by local residents relating to noise will be given 30 days to address the problem. Failure to do so will result in the same five year closure punishment. The bill also states officials who ignore or violate regulations will face administrative, civil and criminal penalties.
The new Section 44 order combines current laws and regulations which authorities failed to enforce in the past togeether with several new additions.
The new laws are of course nationwide, however, as a Bangkok boy I’ve no knowledge or insight on how this will impact other parts of the country but I’m sure there’s plenty of bars and clubs around Thailand flouting the law so far as underage drinking goes as it happens in every country around the world selling booze.
I’m of the opinion the new laws will have little to no day to day impact on 99% of readers so far as nightlife and eating out goes as I’m of the belief the laws are not targeted at expat ghettos or tourist traps. The only thing that may happen if you live near a school or uni is your beer run might be a bit further if your local convenience store stops selling alcohol.
Signs at dozens of 7-Elevens have already been put up saying they will soon stop selling alcohol close to educational institutions as part of a deal franchise owners CP came to with the government as reported in the Post Today yesterday.
I’m sure this story is going to dominate the news throughout the coming week with more sensationalist headlines and scaremongering but unless something major happens I will pass on joining that party.
Lead image via Post Today
Chemical Engineer Caught Running ‘E’ And Meth Lab In Nonthaburi
A chemical engineer who turned to producing Ecstacy pills and crystal meth at his condo in Nonthaburi was arrested this morning by officers from the Narcotics Suppression Bureau.
The Saturday morning raid on a building in Bang Kruai District, Nonthaburi was led by Police General Manu Makemok, Deputy Commissioner General, Royal Thai Police and Police Lieutenant General Montree Yimyaem, commissioner of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau.
Inside the apartment, the prime suspect, 42-year-old suspect Patiwet “Heisenberg” Suwankiri was apprehended.
Drug production equipment and chemical precursors were seized along with 20,000 Ecstacy tablets and 50 grams of crystal meth.
Police General Manu said that the Narcotics Suppression Bureau got a tip that there was a group of pill producers who sold E tablets to entertainment venues in Bangkok.
A surveillance operation was set up and pinpointed Prayoon Thapinna as the dealer. He was taken in for questioning and soon after he folded like a deckchair telling cops who “Heisenberg” was.
During questioning “Heisenberg” was evasive saying he sold the drugs to tourists and that he imported the chemical precursors from online dealers.
Police dismissed both explanations as tourism in Thailand is virtually non-existent due to Covid-19 and the chemicals and tools needed to produce the E and meth have been on a banned list for many years.
He did admit to producing the drugs in his apartment saying he used the knowledge from when he studied chemical engineering
Investigators are working to find more people involved in the operation as the set-up was capable of producing around 3,000 tablets per day.
Photo Credit: 77kaoded
CCSA Overturn BMA Order To Reopen Parks, Other Businesses
The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has overturned the plan by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to allow five types of businesses and venues, including public parks and beauty salons, to open June 1.
Following the BMA Communicable Disease Committee meeting on Monday it was announceed that restrictions on traditional Thai massage parlours, museums, public parks, botanical gardens, learning centres, spas, nail and beauty salons and tattoo parlours would be lifted.
The news was welcomed by many with business owners getting to work in preperation for the sudden rreopening.
Then came the infamous flip-flop by the government when it was reported the CCSA had put the plan on hold for at least a further 14 days.
No reason was given for the sudden change.
Public Parks In Bangkok Reopening Jun 1
This order was later overturned by the CCSA and the plan has been put on hold for at least a further 14 days.
Following a meeting of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Communicable Disease Committee today, it has been announced that public parks in the capital can reopen from June 1.
The committee, chaired by Governor Aswin, also lifted restrictions on traditional Thai massage parlours, museums, botanical gardens, learning centres, spas, nail and beauty salons and tattoo parlours.
Other establishments currently shuttered are to remain closed until at least June 14, 2021.
The news comes despite the capital reporting over 1,300 Covid-cases on Monday, however, the current crop of clusters are in migrant worker camps and wet markets.
While most welcomed the news that parks will reopen allowing outdoor exercise again, dozens in the expat community continued to grumble that gyms and fitness centres will remain closed.