Reports fresh out of Pattaya state that at 0400 on March 22, Pattaya city police, Chonburi police and volunteers swept through Walking Street in the entertainment zone of South Pattaya, arresting 41 people found to be loitering with intention to commit crimes including prostitution and others pestering tourists hawking flowers outside beer bars and clubs in the hopes of making a sale to punters who had just made a new lady friend, or hoping to impress. Some were found to be offering illegal gambling games of chance and others were charged with other offences such as illegal immigration status.
The police state that these are strict criminal offences and the Happy Zone project is intended to improve the international image of Pattaya as a clean and safe place to visit for tourists. The report states that the police intend to carry out these sweeps every day to continually keep Walking Street clear.
Frequent visitors to south east Asia will know that street hawking, while officially illegal, is generally tolerated by police who are sometimes paid off to allow vendors to remain.