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An Army division in Surat Thani has invoked Article 44 to order two pubs at the popular tourist destination of Koh Phangan to be closed indefinitely after they were found selling drug to foreign tourists.

Colonel Kriangkrai Srirak, deputy commander of the Fifth Infantry Division, said he invoked Article 44 to order the indefinite closure of Reggae Bar and Bello Bar on Haad Rin Beach.

Troops raided the two pubs late last month and found that they were selling marijuana, magic mushroom drinks and laughing gas to foreign tourists.

Bar raid on Koh Phangan – mushrooms and laughing gas seized

Authorities raided a bar yesterday morning and arrested staff and management for allegedly selling a concoction blended with hallucinogenic mushrooms, as well as nitrous oxide – better known as laughing gas – to New Year partygoers on Rin Beach on Koh Phangan. The raid occurred at the Bello Bar after authorities were tipped off that the bar was selling fruit smoothies mixed with psychotropic mushrooms.

Authorities also seized three 20kg cylinders containing laughing gas, about 3,000 balloons as well as 1.5 million baht in cash.

Police say the beverages were mixed with the psychotropic mushroom and sold to revellers for 300 baht while balloons filled with laughing gas were sold at 150-200 baht.

Police charged them with the trade and possession of Type 5 narcotics, and selling nitrous oxide without authorisation.”

Kriangkrai and Surat Thani governor Wichawut Jinto held a meeting with local leaders of Haad Rin communities at the Pha Ngan district office to inform them that the closure that would cause many locals to lose jobs.

- Phuket Gazette & The Nation