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Teens jailed for breaching gathering ban, drug use

Teens jailed for breaching gathering ban, drug use

Eighteen teenagers were handed jail terms for violating the terms of the Emergency Decree by holding a party and abusing drugs in Ayutthaya amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prayuth Phetchakhun, deputy spokesman of the Office of the Attorney-General, said on Thursday the prosecution indicted the teenagers for breaching the decree by taking part in a mass gathering, and for drug use.

The teenagers were arrested on March 30, after officials received a tip-off from residents in Ayutthaya’s Bang Sai district about illegal drugs being taken at a party held at a raft house on the Chao Phraya River.

Authorities seized marijuana, ketamine, and ecstasy pills, and drug paraphernalia from the house as evidence, according to the prosecution.

The Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Kwaeng Court sentenced the first two defendants to one month in jail for defying the Emergency Decree, while the rest were given four-month jail terms each for violating the decree and drug abuse, Mr Prayuth said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, in Udon Thani, police arrested 12 men for gathering and drinking in breach of the executive decree in Muang district on Wednesday night, police said on Thursday.

Local officials went to a house in Soi Samakkhi in Ban Na Sai after being informed about a group of men drinking together and disturbing the neighbourhood by playing loud music from a car.

The men told officials that they worked as debt-collectors but they have been laid off due to the Covid-19 outbreak. They said they were holding a birthday party for a friend, before they returned to their home provinces in Nakhon Ratchasima, Chaiyaphum, and Uthai Thani.

Initially, the men resisted arrest, saying they only partied in the house, and did not go out anywhere else, which prompted local officials to call for reinforcements to arrest them.

They were charged with defying the emergency decree, and could face a jail term of up to two years and/or a fine of no more than 40,000 baht each.

Udon Thani governor Nirat Pongsitthithaworn wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday that there had been no new infections in the northeastern province for eight consecutive days, with the number of infected patients remaining stable at seven.

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