62 Arrested in Bangkok Orgy for Violating COVID Restrictions

Police raided a crowded sauna as Thailand battles its most serious coronavirus outbreak, believed to have started in parties.
May 24, 2021, 9:55am
bangkok, thailand
Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: Joshua Rawson-Harris, Unsplash

Thai police raided a drug-fuelled sex party in Bangkok over the weekend and arrested dozens of people for breaching coronavirus restrictions as Thailand grapples to control a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Before dawn on Saturday, 30 police officers donning personal protective equipment arrested 62 men in a sauna in Bangkok’s Wang Thonglang district.

Wang Thonglang police chief Ekkaphop Tanprayoon told local media that they found drugs, syringes, and condoms in the sauna. The raid was conducted after police received a tip from neighboring establishments that a group sex event would be held there. 

According to an activist group interviewed by Reuters, chemsex, or engaging in sexual intercourse while under the influence of drugs, is becoming more common among Thailand’s LGBTQ community. 

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Thailand is currently battling its most severe coronavirus outbreak after months of effectively controlling the pandemic through border shutdown, strict quarantine protocols, and testing. A surge in COVID-19 cases, believed to have started in high-end bars and parties in the capital, raised the number of the country’s total infections to 129,500 as of Monday. 

In Bangkok, bars, gyms, and massage parlors were ordered to close until the end of May to avoid mass gathering, although restaurants have been allowed to reopen up to 25 percent capacity. Authorities said the state of emergency will be extended until July. 

Last week, Thailand reported its highest number of coronavirus cases in a day with 9,635 infections. Now the Southeast Asian country is scrambling to vaccinate most of its population as vaccine supply remains low. 

Those arrested on Saturday were brought to a local police station and 30 of them tested positive for drugs after undergoing a urine test. 

According to the Bangkok Post, 14 of the 67 partygoers confessed to using drugs during the party, while the owner of the sauna where the party was held did not admit to any crimes.

Under an emergency decree that bans mass gathering, partygoers and organizers could face up to two years in prison and a fine of $1,275, police said.