The military raided three popular Thonglor bars last night after recieving a tip that they still offered shisha to customers, which violates the prohibition on commercial use of the tobacco product.
She Bar, in Thonglor Soi 16, was the first to welcome a surprise visit last night. Bangkok biz news reported that the soldiers found 13 shisha pipes. The manager and the supervisor were taken to Thonglor police station.
Next was Muse pub at Thonglor Soi 10 where 13 pipes and a big pot of tobacco were found on the third floor. The last raid took place at Cubic Bar in Ekkamai. Not only did they find customers smoking from 7 shisha pipes, they also found 19 more pipes in locked storage. Flavored tobacco and one gram of marijuana were hidden in the same room. Managers of both bars were taken to the police station.
2nd. Lt. Rinthong Namkot, who led the raiding unit, said that the people responsible for operation of the venues will be charged with possessing shisha for commercial use. The penalty is a five-year jail term and/or a fine of THB500,000.
The Consumer Protection Board issued an order in 2015 prohibiting sale or commercial use of shisha and e-cigarettes. According to the Royal Police website, importation and exportation of shisha pipes and their ingredients are offenses with maximum penalties of ten-years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to five time of the value of the contraband. Sale and commercial use are also illegal.