Local news reports that the Pattaya police conducted raid operations at two walking Street nightclubs, the Pier and Mixx at the early hours of Monday morning. Photos posted on pattaya news facebook page show police officers with tourist police and volunteers inside the clubs shutting down proceedings for the night. Supposedly the raids were targeting narcotic drugs, firearms and other illicit activities. Pier is popular with gogo ladies to take customers, and it has been reported that some ladies are on the payroll in a way that is similar to other high end venues such as Hollywood, i.e. receive a commission for bringing in clients. Reports are that foreigners were not bothered, with no drug test or passport checks being conducted. The official police reason is that they are making Pattaya safe for tourists. After the show of force apparently no illegal items were found. This may be a deliberate ploy by police to target the owner of Mixx and Pier, who is known to have mafia connections and there have previously been incidents of violence at those clubs with foreigner participation.
This latest wave of enforcement activity comes after recent reports of raids conducted in other locations as well as heightened foot patrols along Beach road. This is suspected by some longterm expats as part of a push to move nightlife activities further inland, leaving the beachfront relatively clear, except for the well known problems associated with rubbish, rats and vermin. It is important to note that although one or two raids maybe conducted from time to time, the nightlife activity is ongoing and any club targeted is likely to be open for business as usual just after the police leave. The sky is NOT falling. Of course if goes without saying that the penalties for crime especially drug related in Thailand are harsh and it is foolish to be involved, even recreational use of drugs attracts severe consequences.
It is likely that the political situation in Thailand will increase the frequency of “public order” style campaigns, similar to elsewhere in the world where hardliners believe they can gain popularity through crackdowns on crime and vice. These campaigns are not new and have been part of the landscape for decades.
As always we recommend to all innocent parties, to cooperate with police and it is likely you will only have to pay a fine, or be released without further issues.