Backpackers are often mocked by long-time expats for going barefoot when they touch down in Southeast Asia.
But two European travellers took things a step further in Kandal province’s Leuk Daek commune on Thursday, stripping down to their birthday suits and taking their motorbike out for a spin in the afternoon sun.
Finnish national Catarina Aarnio, 22, and Italian Giancarlo Allocca, 30, were caught with their pants down – literally – by the local cops.
“I think that this was the first time there were foreign people driving motorcycles naked in Cambodia,” Kandal police chief Eav Chamroeun said.
Crawford Brown, a 24-year-old Scot studying at the University of the West of Scotland, was also arrested along with Aarnio and Allocca.
Rather than find their spiritual calling in Asia, the trio now find themselves in a jail cell awaiting deportation on Monday.
“The General Department of Immigration has asked the leadership of the Ministry of Interior to expel them from the country as punishment,” Sok Phal, head of the Ministry of Interior’s immigration department, said.
He added that the suspects would not be charged under a law against “exposing genitals” in public, which carries a maximum prison sentence of three months and a $125 fine.
“Their actions have seriously violated Cambodia’s integrity, the beautiful customs and culture of Cambodia, and Cambodian law,” Chamroeun said.
“We cannot allow them to commit pornography like this in our country.”
The three tourists could not be reached for comment, but photographs uploaded to their Facebook profiles showed they had travelled widely in recent years, almost always fully dressed.