Thai police raid birthday party breaking Covid-19 rules in Pattaya

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Thai police raided a birthday party in 'Sin City' Pattaya for allegedly breaking Covid-19 guidelines.

Officers gatecrashed the event and arrested 18 party-goers in Chonburi province, eastern Thailand, on August 31 including the 39-year-old celebrant who tested positive for coronavirus last year.

Drugs including 0.51grams of crystal meth, 0.25grams of ketamine pills and four ecstasy pills were allegedly found in the resort villa as well as an assortment of alcoholic drinks.

Police said they went to the area for a patrol after neighbours complained about the loud music coming from the property late at night. They then raided the gathering after the 9pm curfew.

Nong Prue Police Station officer Police Colonel Chiddecha Songhong said: ‘It was around 11 pm when we received the complaint from neighbours. None of the people at the party were vaccinated but one of them tested positive to Covid-19 last year but had since recovered.’

Among those arrested were 11 Thais and seven Laos nationals, some of whom had travelled all the way from neighbouring province Samut Sakhon which was a high-risk area.

Aside from Covid-19 tests, police checked the party-goers for drugs and 12 returned positive test results. Officers have also coordinated with immigration to check the visa status of the Laos nationals.

Those arrested were remanded in custody while investigations are ongoing. The group was charged with breaking the Covid-19 guidelines, including a gathering of more than five people, and possession of illegal drugs.

Thailand has recorded 1,234,487 Covid-19 cases and 12,103 deaths as of September 2.

Ministers hope a vaccine rollout will allow them to re-open the country to international tourists before the end of the year.

However, economists have warned that it could be another five years before the country’s tourism industry returns to pre-pandemic levels.

Two years ago tourism made up an estimated 21 per cent of Thailand’s GDP, generating 1.8 trillion baht in revenue. However, the country’s National Economic and Social Development Council predicted that it could be another five years before similar numbers are seen.

Analysts said that between now and 2026, around seven million workers will continue to be affected by the economic harm from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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