18 Tai Yai teenagers were arrested by Chiang Mai Police yesterday (July 23) after locals complained about them hanging out on a bridge across the Ping River opposite the Tom Yam Lai flower market in Chiang Moi.
The teenagers were reported to be loitering on the bridge and drinking, something more commonly found on Sapaan Lek (Iron Bridge) where teens misbehaving have been an ongoing problem.
All of the teens were charged with sitting or sleeping on public bridges or places, which is apparently against the law, while other charges included:
- one person was charged with possession of a weapon in a public place without a valid reason
- one person was charged with being in the Kingdom without permission
- Two people were charged with drinking liquor in a public way – apparently, it’s illegal to drink on a public bridge
- One charge with consumption of meth detected in a piss test.
All are set to face court over the matter with police saying that “any action that affects the life and property or is an annoyance to the people, including the image of the city” is a safety issue.
The Tai Yai people are from Shan State (also known as the Shan people) with several hundred thousand believed to be living in Thailand particularly in more remote border regions in the north.