This is the moment dozens of backpackers were caught breaking a Covid-19 booze ban – by partying at a ‘hippy festival’ on a Thai island.
Police raided the La Bohemia Beach Lounge after receiving reports from concerned locals that the place had been serving drinks on Koh Samui island on February 19.
Officers surrounded the area to prevent revellers from fleeing before asking for their identification cards.
More than 100 foreigners, including Brits, Europeans and Australians, were caught attending the event called ‘Hippie Festival Samui’ at the beach-front bar.
Four French musicians who were allegedly hired by the bar to entertain guests that night were also arrested for working without a permit.
The band members were drummer Julien Michel Bonnereau, saxophonist Alain Jean Raymond Auvieux, bass player Alaettin Mehmet Sarialioglu, and gutarist Devrainne Julein.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Yuttana Sirisombut Bo Phut police station said the musicians were detained to face prosecution as they did not have a proper work permit.
He said: ‘Residents informed us that the bar was hosting a ‘hippy party’ and we acted quickly. There were more than 100 people there, including Thais and foreigners from Europe, sitting among the tables.’
The police seized all the alcoholic drinks inside the bar including the musical instruments used by the band.
Bar manager Kanikarn Thongreung, 48, who was allegedly caught selling alcoholic drinks, was also arrested. However, she said she did not own the place and only worked her shift that night.
Officers closed the bar and are now searching for the venue owner while investigations are ongoing.
Lieutenant Colonel Yuttana Sirisombut added: ‘We have evidence that the musicians played that night for the bar without a work permit so they will be charged. There was also alcohol being sold and consumed, which is a violation of the emergency decree.’