Police opened art gallery as nightclub, 100 revelers reportedly flee from police

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In another police raid in Pattaya, more than 100 people reportedly fled a party held at a local art gallery at 10.30pm last night, past the 9pm deadline for alcohol sales in restaurants. The Pattaya News reports that revelers were jumping fences and climbing windows to flee police at the Ma Ha Na cafe and art gallery in Jomtien.

According to Pattaya Police Officer Kullachart Kullachai, who led the raid, security personnel tried to slow the raid when officers entered the scene at 10:30 p.m., giving revelers time to flee the building. Reports say they scaled walls, jumped out of windows, and even dashed into traffic.

Police said they arrested the ‘caretaker’ for allegedly operating the venue as a nightclub and allowing the sale of alcohol, as well as a lack of social distancing and other Covid-19 guidelines. Police later said they were focusing their efforts on the venue’s staff, management and owner, rather than fleeing patrons. Further legal action will be taken as the site was raided in late December for allegedly breaching Covid-19 measures by being open after official closing time.

Strict Covid-19 measures have caused many nightlife venues, including bars and clubs, to close since early April last year. However, some of them have been allowed to reopen by converting their places into ‘restaurants’, with alcohol restrictions being relaxed in ‘blue’ areas, including Pattaya, and alcohol being able to be served until 9 p.m. time.

Police in Pattaya yesterday warned that the raids would continue every night with a directive from the CCSA and government authorities, citing that authorities may have to ban the sale of alcohol completely in restaurants in the province if businesses continue to defy recent regulations.

THE SOURCE: Pattaya News

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