Thong Lor Nightclub Executives & Shareholders To Face Charges

Piya Tawichai Bangkok
MPB deputy commissioner Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai

Investigations are underway to determine whether shareholders and executives of two nightclubs in Bangkok’s Thong Lor area should face charges for neglecting COVID-19 preventive measures.

Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai, deputy chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, yesterday said the managers of Krystal Club and Emerald Club lacked the necessary documents to operate the businesses.

They only had permits to operate karaoke establishments, he said.

The managers of both venues were jailed for two months at Bangkok South Kwaeng Court on Friday after finding them guilty of violating the emergency decree and the Entertainment Places Act of 1978.

They can still face additional charges for violating the Communicable Disease Act if they are suspected of risking the spread of COVID-19, Pol Maj Gen Tawichai said.

The shareholders and executives of both nightclubs could also be charged.

“If investigations find evidence that links shareholders and executives of the two pubs, I think they won’t be spared criminal charges,” he said. “Investigations are underway.”

The clubs could be closed for five years if they are found guilty, he said, citing announcements by the National Council for Peace and Order on the operation of entertainment venues.

Police officers at Thong Lor station were also being investigated for either failing to make the two establishments comply with COVID-19 measures or receiving kickbacks, he said.

Arunee Kasayanont, spokeswoman for the opposition Pheu Thai Party, blamed officials for the spread of infections from the Thong Lor cluster. The two-month punishment for the managers did not address the root cause of the problem, she said.

“The government should find the real owners of the two places as well as the government officials who neglected their duty and allowed the nightclubs to stay open beyond permitted hours,” said Ms Kasayanont.