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Patong nightlife takes a hit after underage prostitution scandal

Bangla Road

Nightlife venues in Phuket’s popular Patong Beach area say a recent bar raid in which police allegedly found children employed as sex workers has hit them hard. According to a Bangkok Post report, businesses have lost around 100 million baht since the raid on a foreign-operated bar.

The raid was carried out last Wednesday, by a special task force unit from the Department of Provincial Administration. It’s understood two suspects were arrested at the bar on Bangla Road, where police discovered minors were being employed as sex workers.

Deputy National Police Chief Surachate Hakparn has since confirmed the venue was operated by a foreign national, named only as Ronny, who has reportedly fled to Laos. It’s understood he also operated nightlife venues in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces in central Thailand.

The chairman of the Patong Entertainment Business Association, Weerawit Kruesombat, has called a meeting with the operators of nightlife venues to clamp down on any more businesses becoming involved with child prostitution or illegal drugs.

He says all nightlife venues in the area have now been ordered to close by 1.00am, meaning businesses have taken a significant financial hit in the past week. Weerawit has also called on anyone who witnesses any illegal activity at nightlife venues to be the “eyes and ears” of law enforcement.

The Bangkok Post reports that the owner of the Patong bar in question also operated 4 restaurants, which have now been ordered to close. Weerawit says his association plans to ask the landlord to terminate the lease agreements for each venue as a result of the child prostitution claims.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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