PHNOM PENH, Cambodia >> Ten foreigners, including five Britons, charged with producing pornographic photos during a party near Cambodia’s famed Angkor Wat temple complex have denied any wrongdoing, a prosecutor said today.
Still, there is “enough evidence to prove that they violated the law, and therefore, they must face charges,” Siem Reap provincial court prosecutor Samrith Sokhon said.
The 10 people charged Sunday include five from the United Kingdom, two from Canada and one each from Norway, the Netherlands and New Zealand. Since they are in jail they could not be reached for comment and it was not immediately possible to find the lawyer representing them. They face up to a year in prison if convicted.
Police said they raided a rented villa in Siem Reap on Thursday where the foreigners were taking part in what organizers called a pub crawl and found people “dancing pornographically.” While almost 90 foreigners were detained, all but 10 were released.
Photos released by police showed clothed young adults rolling around together on a dance floor.
On Sunday the 10 were formally charged with producing pornographic pictures, which the prosecutor said were then posted on social media.
The Khmer Times, an English-language newspaper close to the government, said some of the events were known as “Let’s Get Wet.”
A Facebook page for Let’s Get Wet parties in Siem Reap advertised what it billed as “Asia’s biggest pool crawl.” It also said it offered every Thursday “a whole day of partying in a Villa Mansion just out of town with hundreds of other backpackers” and featuring a DJ, barbeque and pool.
Photos on the Facebook page showed young people in bikinis and swimsuits at pool parties.
Calls to the number listed on the page rang unanswered today.
It is not the first time young travelers have gotten in hot water in Cambodia. In recent years there has been a flurry of tourists who posed nude or semi-naked for photos at landmarks, including ancient temple sites, then posted the pictures on the internet. When caught, they have been expelled from the country.