Almost 50 Chinese tourists were detained for questioning and a large quantity of illicit drugs were seized when police raided a pub in Huai Khwang district of Bangkok early Friday morning.
The raid at 3am found 30 men and 18 women partying in four karaoke rooms, said Pol Maj Gen Thirasak Chantrapipat, chief of the Children and Women Protection Division.
At least four types of drugs — cocaine, ketamine, ecstasy and “happy water”, which is an illicit drug cocktail — were confiscated, along with drug-taking paraphernalia.
Several tourists were charged with drug use after testing positive. Police are currently investigating whether they violated the immigration law, and whether the pub operator supplied the drugs to its customers.
Pol Maj Gen Thirasak said police had been gathering information about the pub for two weeks prior to the raid and found its operation was similar to that of the infamous Jinling pub.
Many Chinese tourists were found inside when police entered the pub in Huai Khwang district early Friday. (Photo supplied/Wassayos Ngamkham)
On Oct 26 last year, police stormed Jinling, which operated illegally in three adjacent buildings on Charoen Rat Road in Yannawa district. A total of 104 customers, 99 of them Chinese nationals, tested positive for drugs.
The Jinling raid touched off an investigation that led to the arrest of Chinese businessman Chaiyanat “Tuhao” Kornchayanant and 40 others on multiple charges related to narcotics, organised transnational crime, money-laundering and more.
It subsequently emerged that dozens of Chinese crime figures were operating in the country, having obtained long-term visas with the help of dozens of corrupt immigration officers. Investigations are continuing.
Pol Maj Gen Atthaporn Wongsiripreeda, commander of Metropolitan Police Division 1, said police are questioning the staff of the pub that was raided on Friday for more information about the venue.
Based on the paperwork, the pub is owned by a Thai national but police will run a thorough check on its ownership and determine if it is linked to Jinling, he said.
Citing a statement from an accountant, he said several staff are ethnic people from Chiang Mai who can speak Chinese. Most of the customers are Chinese tourists who were charged 6,500 to 15,000 baht for karaoke services excluding drinks.
Pol Maj Gen Atthaporn said that a Thai man, who is believed to a security guard, was arrested on a firearms-related charge when police found a gun in his possession. Five vehicles belonging to the customers were confiscated for further examination after police found drugs in some of them.
(Photo supplied/Wassayos Ngamkham)