A revered watering hole situated in the Lam Luk Ka district was left in ruins after an unannounced raid by the Ministry of Interior (MOI). The club had gained notoriety for granting entry to underage patrons and its indiscernible link to illegal narcotics.
The operation, sprung into action under the veil of night, sent shockwaves through the crowd of over 300 merry-makers. Following the abrupt interruption of festivities, party favours such as ice, ketamine and happy wormer were hastily discarded on the club floor by the startled patrons. Among the great number present, more than a third were found guilty of dabbling in substance abuse.
The leading light in this bold operation was Ansit Sampantarat, the director of the Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) functioning under the MOI. A cohort of distinguished officials assembled to aid him, hailing from esteemed authorities like the Narcotics Control Board (NCB) Region 1, the investigation and legal affairs office, the MOI, and the chief of the law enforcement operations centre. Border patrol officers also bolstered the ranks with their involvement in excess of 50.
The now-defunct nightclub, nestled in Khu Khot, Lam Luk Ka district, Pathum Thani province, was at the receiving end of this crackdown following a wave of complaints from concerned locals. Culminating under allegations of admitting underage individuals, enabling substance abuse, and possible drug dealings, the club’s reputation came under scrutiny. Instances of post-curfew operations, inebriated underage patrons causing deadly accidents, and even reported gunfire contributed to a growing rap sheet.
During the midnight swoop, patrons basked in the amplified decibels, intoxicated strobe lights, a haze of smoke and alcohol reverie, the officials found five underage individuals and five more without any identification. Upon interruption of music and exposure to bright lights, an inevitable pandemonium ensued among the crowd.
In the ensuing chaos, patrons found their exit paths sealed by vigilante officials, aborting any escape attempts. A quick initial sweep hinted at the club’s operation sans required permits, exhibiting a carefree approach toward substance abuse and operation of an unlicensed platform for musical performances.
A comprehensive drug check of 291 of the patrons revealed a startling 137 positive results, identified by the flushed purple hue of their urine samples. Immediate repercussions followed for the owner, the manager, and affiliated personnel, resulting in their arrests for a host of violations.
MEM Exclusive Club, as it was known, became a flagrant example of breach of laws; from running without legitimate permits, selling alcohol past permissible hours to overlooking rampant drug abuse. Consequently, the local police were instructed to shut down the establishment for half a decade.
Ansit recalled that the operation was in parallel with the propounded policies of Anutin Charnvirakul, Minister of Interior. The missions include sticking a pin in the balloon of drug menace, reining in influential figures, and nurturing a peaceful, orderly drug-free society. The raid wasn’t solely based on the complaints lodged through the MOI’s Integrity Centre but was also a scheme to dismantle the drug supply chain.
Ronnarong revealed that the club had previously changed locations after an infamous shooting incident. An alarming finding was the modified blank gun and ammunition, discovered during the raid. The apprehended patrons tested positive for drug consumption were left in the custody of NCB officials for the subsequent legal course.