RANONG – Twenty-seven tourists were arrested and charged with drug abuse on the Island of Koh Phayam in Ranong province after testing positive for drugs.
Ranong Tourist Police conducted the raid on Friday in the province’s Muang district was part of the authorities’ joint operation to search the island’s three night entertainment venues, Inspector Pol Lt-Colonel Manaporn Likhitmanont told a press conference on Saturday.
Fifty police, soldiers and local administrative officials took part in the search operation dubbed “Cleaning Koh Phayam”.
Twenty-three foreigners and four Thais, allegedly found to be in possession of marijuana and yaba pills, were taken for testing to Ranong Hospital. After they tested positive, they were taken to the Pak Nam precinct to face further legal action.
Manaporn said the operation followed a Tourist Police investigation that found some night entertainment venues on Koh Phayam selling marijuana to customers, who were also regularly allowed to openly take the drug on the premises.
The raids were conducted on Rasta Baby, Hippies & Rest in Ao Yai area, and Hippies Bar in Ao Khao Khai.
Ko Phayam is the second largest Andaman Sea island off the coast of Ranong Province (Ko Chang, about 4 kms distant, is the largest) it is widely thought to be one of the most beautiful–and undiscovered–of Thailand’s islands.
Source: The Nation