‘It’s a jail party, yo!’ US and British tourists drink beers and dance inside police station after being arrested for flouting coronavirus laws in Thailand
- Tourists seen dancing in Thai police station after being arrested at bar party
- The revellers had been detained on Tuesday for flouting Covid-19 rules
- 89 tourists, including some British and American, arrested on Kho Phangan
- Visitors had gathered at the Three Sixty Bar on Tuesday night before police raid
- Public gatherings are banned under Thailand’s national coronavirus legislation
A group of tourists, including some from Britain and America, have been filmed partying inside a police station after being arrested in Thailand for flouting Covid-19 rules.
Thai police arrested 89 tourists and 22 Thais after breaking up a party at a beachfront bar on Kho Phangan island on January 26, which more than 200 people had gone to.
However, after having been arrested, the revellers were then recorded drinking and dancing inside the police station.
The video footage shows the backpackers lounging on tables, smoking, playing music and ignoring social distancing rules.
A group of tourists, including some from Britain and America, have been filmed partying inside a police station after being arrested on Kho Phangan island, Thailand, for flouting Covid-19 rules
At one point, the person filming inside the police station wanders round to different groups of people whooping and saying: ‘It’s a jail party!’
Police Colonel Suparerk Pankosol, superintendent of the provincial immigration office, said the revellers were detained because bars are not yet allowed to operate beyond 9pm during the pandemic.
He said: ‘Every venue has to follow the rules, even if it is their fifth anniversary. The event risked spreading Covid-19 and the organisers will be prosecuted.’
It comes after police on the island of Koh Phangan stormed the Three Sixty Bar on Tuesday night.
Among the locals arrests was the bar’s owner and another who sold drinks there, according to police Col. Suparerk Pankosol, superintendent of the provincial immigration office.
Video footage shows the 89 tourists and 22 Thais that were arrested, drinking, smoking and dancing both inside and outside of the police station and ignoring social distancing
He said the gathering was illegal under a national state of emergency declared last March to combat the coronavirus.
Thailand is currently has barred virtually all tourists from entering the country since April, with an emergency decree banning people from attending public gatherings and entering high risk areas.
Those arrested were from more than 10 countries, including the U.S., Britain, Switzerland and Denmark, Suparerk said.
Photos of the raid distributed by police showed a dark, crowded room with casually dressed partygoers, almost all wearing face masks.
Police on the island of Koh Phangan raided the Three Sixty Bar on Tuesday night and discovered more than 100 people inside, including tourists from Britain, the US, Denmark and Switzerland
Koh Phangan in Surat Thani province is a popular destination for young backpacking travelers and is known especially for its all-night Full Moon beach parties.
However, Thailand has barred virtually all tourists from entering the country since last April.
There have been 29 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Surat Thani out of a national total of 15,465.
However, 11 of the 29 cases have been found in the last month as Thailand experienced a resurgence of the disease.
The penalty for violating the state of emergency is up to two years´ imprisonment and a fine of up to 40,000 baht ($1,330).
Local police say they arrested 22 locals, including the bar’s owner and another person who was selling drinks. Emergency Covid legislation in Thailand bans people from public gatherings
The bar owner and worker could also be charged with violating the Communicable Disease Act, punishable by a one-year prison term and a fine of up to 100,000 baht ($3,330).
Suparerk said the arrested people were being held at the Koh Phangan police station, where investigators were preparing documents to charge them.
He said police had tracked the party plans on social media, where the bar was promoting the event to celebrate its fifth anniversary. Entry tickets were 100 baht ($3.30), with food and drink extra.
Those arrested by police at the party will appear in court later today (January 28).
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