Human trafficking is also under investigation, one of the leaders of the raids said tonight. It's the strongest action yet amid increasing concern about Russians moving into suspicious businesses on Phuket.
The raids on three nightspots were forecast last week in Phuketwan by the Director of Kathu District, Veera Kerdsirimongkol.
A group of time share touts were also reported to have been brought in for questioning, although we have yet to verify those arrests.
The Labor Department and several other government authorities joined in tonight's crackdown.
Those arrested were taken to Kathu district offices near Tungthong Police Station, on the Kathu side of Patong Hill, to be questioned and to have details of work permits, visas and other documents checked and verified.
Khun Veera told Phuketwan last week that he was anxious to make sure there were no illegal Russian businesses in Patong.
Agitation by residents and local businesses in two other Phuket regions, Karon and Bang Tao, has seen some Russian-run businesses close down.
Phuket tour guides protested earlier today at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City about Chinese-nationality guides usurping their jobs.
A spokesperson said the same issue applied to Russian and Korean tour groups.
Khun Veera has made his mark since taking on the job of Kathu district director, leading raids, setting up checkpoints, and making it plain that there will be zero tolerance of drug-taking and law-breaking.