A pub operator in Pattaya has been arrested for alleged involvement in an online gambling operation and the illicit drug trade.
The arrest of Bone Pub Pattaya owner Nitiphat Chokchaithanaporn, 44, followed a raid on the entertainment venue on April 22, Pol Col Kullachart Kullachai, chief of Pattaya police, said on Tuesday.
At the time, police seized some illicit drugs and arrested 22 Thais and Chinese nationals. The arresting team searched five houses in Phra Tamnak area after learning that the suspects often gathered there.
Pol Col Kullachart said the five houses were used as venues for operating an online website, Bone1688, and several soldiers were also found on the premises.
Further investigation found that Mr Nitiphat was involved in the online gambling operation. A warrant for his arrest was issued.
In addition, the pub owner was also involved in making “happy water”, a new type of illegal drug cocktail whose use has become rampant in nightspots.
This cocktail drug is made by mixing other drugs — typically a combination of ecstasy, methamphetamine, diazepam, caffeine and tramadol (a painkiller) — and dissolving the powder in hot water or mixing it with sweetened drinks.
It is popular among pub visitors, particularly Chinese tourists, said the Pattaya police chief.
During questioning, Mr Nitiphat denied all charges.
The arresting team seized his assets for examination and extended their investigation.
Pol Col Kullachart Kullachai, chief of Pattaya police in Chon Buri, interrogates Nitiphat Chokchaithanaporn, owner of Bone Pub Pattaya, on Tuesday. (Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong)