15 mostly undocumented “tourists” from African countries arrested for reportedly illegally gathering and drinking in Bangkok

Bangkok –

A group of African and Thai alleged partygoers was arrested in Bangkok in the early hours of Monday, December 13th, after reportedly gathering and drinking alcoholic beverages, violating the Bangkok Communicable Disease orders.

Immigration Police arrived at the Nakhon Bar in Bangkok in the Ramkamhang area for inspection around 1:45 AM. following reports that the place had allegedly organized an illegal gathering and served alcohol drinks to customers. Legally speaking, all bars, pubs, and nightclubs are still closed nationally (officially, anyways), and only qualified restaurants can serve alcohol until 11:00 PM in Bangkok. The rules on alcohol differ from province to province in Thailand currently due to national Covid-19 measures, notes TPN media.

Upon arrival, about 15 foreigners were found in the restaurant that was designed in a converted shipping container. Some local Thai customers were also discovered at the scene with food and alcoholic drinks.

From the initial document examination, most foreign customers were from African countries, such as Nigeria, Congo, and Cameroon. Most of them did not hold passports or have a legal immigration entry stamp on their passports. Thai media described the group as tourists, however, this is unlikely notes TPN media without any proper documentation or visa stamps.

A Thai female national, 41, whose name was not released by police and Immigration, claimed to the authorities as a restaurant owner told the officials that the place had been a discreet gathering place for mostly tourists from African countries for more than a month. Her restaurant itself was already closed down due to financial problems in the Covid-19 situation but they reportedly rented a shipping container to run an illegal party. She stated that the venue hoped to get around current closure rules by claiming the customers were purchasing alcohol only for take-away to the shipping container nearby, which was then claimed to be a public space. This has been a common recent tactic for venues, including in Pattaya, notes TPN media.

Regardless, alcohol sales at this hour (1:00 AM) were still illegal, as are gatherings for the purpose of parties and social events, and consuming alcoholic beverages in public, according to Bangkok police.

Initially, all of the foreign customers without documentation were charged for illegally entering and staying in the Kingdom while the owner was charged for distributing alcoholic beverages without permission and without the approval of sanitary safety standards which violates the Bangkok Communicable Disease orders to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 Coronavirus. 

Photo Courtesy: Daily News


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Nop Meechukhun
National News Writer at The Pattaya News from September 2020 to October, 2022. Born and raised in Bangkok, Nop enjoys telling stories of her hometown through her words and pictures. Her educational experience in the United States and her passion for journalism have shaped her genuine interests in society, politics, education, culture, and art.