Five senior police from Chang Phueak police station in Chiang Mai have been transferred to inactive posts again pending an inquiry following a raid on an unlicensed nightspot under their jurisdiction.
An order has been signed by Pol Maj Gen Krittapon Yeesakhon, acting commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5, to transfer Chang Phueak police chief Pol Col Kittipong Phetmunee and his four subordinates to inactive posts at Chiang Mai Provincial Police's operation centre.
The probe is set to be wrapped up in 15 days.
The five senior officers were previously transferred to the centre for investigation after allowing a gambling den to operate under their watch in the Santitham area of tambon Chang Phueak on Aug 10.
The crackdown was conducted by the Department of Provincial Administration (DPA)'s special unit. During the raid, authorities arrested 104 people, 19 of whom were card dealers and croupiers. They also seized 31 cars, 10 motorbikes, cash and gambling paraphernalia.
The five recently returned to their post at the Chang Phueak station, before the recent crackdown led by the DPA.
The crackdown took place at Le Neuf café bar restaurant on Sirindhorn Road in Muang district's tambon Chang Phueak yesterday in response to complaints filed by locals about the outlet operating beyond legal hours and serving alcohol to customers under 20 years old.
The crackdown was jointly conducted by the DPA special unit and its inspector, district officials, Chiang Mai Provincial Police, Chang Phueak police and more than 30 officials from Volunteer Defence Corps Headquarters.
During the raid, authorities found almost 300 patrons on the premises, 242 of whom were young people under 20 years old, dancing and mingling.
The raid caused panic among many young revellers. Many rushed to the exit doors, but they were blocked by authorities.
DPA inspector Ronnarong Thipsiri said the bar was operating without a licence.
The bar, which occupies a two-storey wooden house with a low ceiling with no fire exits, posed a danger in the case of a fire.
About 90% of revellers were students aged 17-19. Those too young to enter used fake ID cards to secure access. They were placed in the custody of Chiang Mai Provincial Social Development and Human Security Office.
Police have pressed charges against the bar owner, Kiatisak Promnimit, 25, for running the bar without a licence, selling alcohol beyond the legal time limit at midnight, selling alcohol to customers under 20 years old and modifying the building without permission.
The use of the building will be suspended, according to the authorities.