Groups want pubs scrutinised

Groups want pubs scrutinised

Activists led by the Alcohol Watch Network hold banners demanding nightlife outlets not allow underage patrons or operate beyond legal hours. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
Activists led by the Alcohol Watch Network hold banners demanding nightlife outlets not allow underage patrons or operate beyond legal hours. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

A coalition of four anti-alcohol groups on Monday submitted an open letter calling on the Ministry of Justice to open a fact-finding probe into two pubs in Bangkok and Nakhon Si Thammarat suspected of breaking the law.

About 20 representatives led by the Alcohol Watch Network called on the ministry to see whether "Club 99" in Nakhon Si Thammarat's Muang district and "Vampire Pub" in Bangkok's Pathumwan have broken the law.

Concerns were raised following a June 4 brawl in the Nakhon Si Thammarat pub that left four people killed, three of whom were said to be underage.

On Saturday, police searched the Bangkok pub and found at least five underage patrons among 500 customers, several of whom tested positive for drugs.

It was reported that the pub, which was ordered to be closed by the government in 2018, reopened in February.

Thirapat Khahawong, coordinator of a network aimed at preventing the impacts of alcohol, said the two cases raised an alarm about the enforcement of laws and regulations at night entertainment venues.

He said the groups also found that some nightlife spots ran promotional campaigns targeting minors and many venues failed to comply with the law after the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

Wanchai Poonchuay, member of the Alcohol Watch Network, said the ministry should investigate the two cases and take action if operators disobeyed laws regulating underage drinking, hours of sale and drugs and weapons.

The letter was accepted by Wanlop Nakbua, deputy justice permanent secretary and spokesman of the ministry.

Mr Wanlop said the ministry will raise the problem with the authorities concerned and ask them to speed up their inquiries and make sure nightspots are in compliance with the law.



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