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The night they raided the ‘56’

The night they raided the ‘56’

A Bangkok pub is likely to be closed after a Sunday morning raid found it unlicensed, open too late and with patrons stocked up and loaded up with illegal drugs.

A team from the Provincial Administration Department and other officials raided the 56 Arena Music Hall on Charoenrat Road in Bang Kho Laem district, Thon Buri, at 2.30am, sending half of the estimated 800 patrons scurrying out the back door when the lights went on.

They detained 114 people on suspicion and all later tested positive for illicit drug use.

The authorities are considering shutting the place down for five years as per National Council for Peace and Order decree 22/2558.

Two hundred small sealed plastic bags of crystal meth, 45 of ketamine and nine of ecstasy were found scattered around the floor in various locations, including in the toilets.

Patrons had to undergo a urine test, resulting in 78 men and 36 women showing signs of taking illegal drugs. Two were under 20, one under 18.

Saengpratheep Komolbutr, inspector-general of the Department of Juvenile Observation and Protection, who led the raid, said complaints had been received about drug use at the pub and late closing times.

The owner, whose name was not released, was charged with operating without a licence, selling alcohol beyond legal hours and to persons under 20, advertising alcohol, allowing entry to persons under 20, and allowing drug use on the premises.

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