* Excerpted from on 18 Feb 2004.

'The Cave' Busted on "lewdness"

Bangkok, 18 February 2004

"About 50 bar girls were arrested on Monday night for staging lewd shows in a Sukhumvit lounge specialising in sexual fantasies, including sadomasochistic role playing.

Deputy Interior Minister Pracha Maleenont led the police raid on The Cave lounge bar on Sukhumvit 33.    "The bar will be closed for 90 days as punishment for allowing lewd acts on its premises," Pracha said.    Before the raid, the scantily-clad girls were seen prancing around with chains and whips.    Police decided to raid the lounge just as the girls were taking off their clothes inside cages for a sexual performance.    The lounge was found to be well stocked with sexual props and with many theme rooms, including ones furnished like a classroom and a hospital delivery ward.    No customers of the bar were arrested.    A foreigner at the bar said that in recent weeks the acts staged by the hostesses had become increasingly bawdy and more serious, which might have prompted the raid."