Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Foreigners charged for 'producing porn' after Siem Reap party bust



Foreigners charged for 'producing porn' after Siem Reap party bust

A photo posted by the National Police of the 10 foreigners detained for "producing pornographic photographs" in Siem Reap. National Police
A photo posted by the National Police of the 10 foreigners detained for "producing pornographic photographs" in Siem Reap. National Police

Foreigners charged for 'producing porn' after Siem Reap party bust

A lawyer for 10 foreign nationals arrested last week during a party in Siem Reap confirmed Monday they have been provisionally charged for “producing pornography”.

The 10 include five British and two Canadian citizens, as well as a Dutch, Norwegian and New Zealand national. They were taken into custody from Siem Reap town’s Svay Dangkum commune last Thursday and sent to pre-trial detention on Sunday.

Sourng Sophea, the group’s lawyer, said that his clients had not committed the alleged crime and expected the trial to be held within a month.

They are charged for “production” of pornography under Article 39 of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation, which carries a maximum prison sentence of one year.

Officials have been tight lipped about the circumstances leading to the arrest, but a police report says that anti-trafficking officers went to a house in the commune to “crack down on a case of pornographic pictures and pornographic materials” at an event called “Let’s Get Wet”.

It reports that police officials found used condoms, as well as people drinking and dancing in a sexual manner.

Police say 87 people were detained in the raid, with all but 10 released after being educated about “Khmer traditions and culture”.

The group’s lawyer, Sophea, said the police had not divulged any evidence of the alleged crime and that his clients were only holding a pool party. “They were having a party in their place where there is a swimming pool. For me, just wearing a bikini is not a pornographic activity,” he said.

On a Facebook page for “Let’s Get Wet”, the group advertised a party at a “secret” location held last Thursday. The page also includes photographs and video from past parties, mostly of lounging and drinking around a pool, though one video posted last year does contain some nudity, where women can be seen exposing their breasts. The page appeared to have been taken down on Monday afternoon.

Siem Reap court spokesman Yin Srang did not comment on the case, only pointing to court documents, and anti-human trafficking and provincial police officials declined to comment.

A relative of one of the detainees, who asked to remain anonymous, said on Sunday that the police had prevented women dressed in bikinis from putting on their clothes before they were photographed and had demanded bribes from attendees.

Additional Reporting by Ananth Baliga

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce

  • ‘No chance Cambodia booted out of ASEAN’

    A group of former and current Cambodian diplomats on Tuesday fired back at retired Singaporean diplomat Bihalari Kausikan after he proposed that ASEAN dismiss Cambodia and Laos from the bloc. In an open letter, the Cambodian diplomats said Kausikan’s remarks were made from a

  • Woman seeks answers after arrest of American partner

    Filipina Lalaine de Guzman, 48, is demanding answers for the detention of her American partner by Cambodian immigration officers after he was arrested at their home almost 90 days ago. She said without an arrest warrant or proffering any criminal charges, Stephen Sidney Greatsinger, 56, is being detained

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital