Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Foreigners accused of ‘producing pornography’ in Siem Reap apologise via video




Foreigners accused of ‘producing pornography’ in Siem Reap apologise via video

A group of foreigners accused of ‘producing pornography’ last month stand outside a courtroom in Siem Reap province on January 27. Chan Raksmey/AFP
A group of foreigners accused of ‘producing pornography’ last month stand outside a courtroom in Siem Reap province on January 27. Chan Raksmey/AFP

Foreigners accused of ‘producing pornography’ in Siem Reap apologise via video

A video of 10 foreigners arrested in Siem Reap for allegedly “producing pornography” during a pool party shows the detainees apologising while also questioning why they had been arrested.

The incident occurred on January 25 at a villa in Siem Reap town’s Svay Dangkum commune where some 30 anti-human trafficking police arrested 10 people linked to a pub crawl called Let’s Get Wet for “pornographic dancing”, though a witness said there was no nudity at the party.

Phum Buntenh, who recently joined the group’s legal team, said two other lawyers had been hired as well, by friends and family of the suspects.

“They asked me to be their lawyer after they were sent to jail [pre-trial detention],” he said. “Now, I am preparing documents to send to their individual embassies, and another document to submit to the investigative judge.”

A video posted to YouTube of the 10, seemingly at Siem Reap Provincial Court, where they faced an investigating judge last month, shows the group reluctantly answering questions.

They say they do not want to be on television and they don’t know why they were arrested.

“I have been here two years, I respect the culture and I help the children and I help Cambodian families. I do not want to make any problems with Cambodia,” said Daniel Jones, one those detained. “Please tell me my mistake? And I say I am sorry.”

All 10 then proceeded to apologise in Khmer in unison. Buntenh said he had instructed his clients not to talk to anyone but the legal team and embassy representatives.

“If someone forced them to do so, it meant that they forced them to accept their mistake or committed crime,” he said, adding that there was no evidence against the 10 individuals.

“It is normal that tourists bathe and dance wearing bikinis. If they accused them that they were wrong, they should go to arrest many others at Kampong Som’s [Sihanoukville] beaches where they [tourists] sunbathe,” he said.

Buntenh added that his clients had mentioned that police had demanded bribes from them but declined to clarify yesterday.

“My client said that after they put them in jail. I don’t know how much they demanded. I just heard they said that they had some problems related to money,” he said.

However, the lawyer told British tabloid the Sun that the police had demanded bribes from the 10 detainees during the arrest, claiming they were even willing to accept 2000 riel, or $0.50.

Local police officials, anti-human trafficking officers and town Governor So Platong could not be reached yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • First Khmer woman to pass out of West Point

    The life of a soldier certainly isn’t for everyone. The training is gruelling, the hours long and there’s no room for excuses. On top of that, soldiers must be ready to respond to sudden threats at a moment’s notice. Just ask Sithyka

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • Deminers unearth ancient lion statue

    Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on Tuesday that a statue of a lion was found by mine clearance experts while they were digging for a development project. It was sent to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts last