In the early hours of a recent Sunday, a club in the Lam Luk Ka district of Pathum Thani found itself the target of a surprise raid. MEM Exclusive Club, or MEM Pub, was packed with about 300 patrons, oblivious to the impending descent of authorities from the Department of Provincial Administration, the Region 1 Office of the Narcotic Control Board, and a local team of territorial defence volunteers. The ensuing events are as captivating as they are alarmingly real.
Renowned for its night-long parties, MEM Pub is nestled on Hathairat road in Lat Sasai, Lam Luk Ka. The humming district is known for its lively nightlife. However, that Sunday morning at 1:45am, MEM Exclusive Club became the center of attention, thanks to a decisive operation led by Ansit Sampantarat, the director-general of the Interior Ministry’s Department of Provincial Administration.
Curiously, no police personnel were involved in the operation; only those from the Department of Provincial Administration, the Narcotic Control Board’s Region 1 office, and territorial defence volunteers were present. It was quite the spectacle as authorities stormed the club with an air of determination, turning a regular night of fun at the club into a scene straight out of a Hollywood movie.
Among the crowd, several were underage, with many reporting to be under 20 years old and five unable to provide an identification card. The club’s management found themselves on the wrong side of the law, committing several infractions including operating without a permit, selling alcohol to minors, and continuing sales during prohibited hours.
What unfolded next was unexpected but probably shouldn’t have been – urine tests executed on-site revealed shocking results; 137 patrons tested positive for drug-use. One can scarcely imagine the wave of apprehension that rippled through the club as these results were disclosed.
The operators of the Club, including the owner and multiple managers, experienced an abrupt turn of fortune. From running a thriving club full of revellers, they found themselves slapped with a litany of charges linked to their negligent and illegal practices. For the patrons who had tested positive for drugs, they suddenly found themselves embroiled in a legal process.
This massive operation, according to Ansit, was initiated due to concerns raised by local residents. A slew of complaints was submitted to the Interior Ministry’s Damrongtham Centre, highlighting how the club frequently allowed individuals under the age of 20 to enter and how it had become a hotspot for drug sales and consumption. The residents also deplored how the club operated way beyond licensed hours, often remaining open until 6am.
With these allegations coming to light, Ansit has requested that the district chief draft a report for the provincial governor, hinting at a possible proposal to shut the club down for as long as five years. This scene, reminding us that when it comes to the law and societal norms, no one is above reproach – not even a once-popular nightclub.