Thai pub blaze: No signs of corruption linked to illegal operation, say police

BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): No government or police links have been found in the unlicensed operation of the Chonburi pub where a deadly blaze killed 15 and injured 40 others on Friday (Aug 5).

Pol Maj-General Atthasit Kitjahan (pic), Chonburi police chief, said on Sunday that initial investigation showed that Mountain B Pub in Sattahip district had a restaurant licence but was illegally operating as a drinking venue. The building had also been illegally altered.

“We have spoken to several state officials responsible for the electrical system and civil engineering in the area, and so far none of them have been found linked to the pub’s operation. Further evidence is being gathered and investigation is progressing,” he said.

“As for witnesses claiming that they have seen police officers show up at the pub three times over the past two months, and allow it to continue operating, a special committee has been set up to investigate the suspects.

“Any official found to have committed wrongdoing will be prosecuted under the law,” he promised.

Atthasit also confirmed that Phongsiri Panprasong, 27, who has admitted to charges of negligence causing death and operating a night spot without permission, is the real owner and not a scapegoat as some have speculated.

The Chonburi police chief added that the pub’s roof will be removed on Monday so officials can inspect the electrical system.

On Friday, Atthasit signed an order transferring the Phlu Ta Luang Police Station superintendent, his two deputies and two inspectors responsible for crime suppression and investigation to inactive posts. The transfers were to take effect immediately to ensure the “orderly and effective” performance of provincial police.

The pub falls under the jurisdiction of Phlu Ta Luang Police Station.

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Thailand , pub , fire , police , investigation


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