Thailand: Nudity-loving gang causes a ruckus in Chiang Mai
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Thailand: Nudity-loving gang causes a ruckus in Chiang Mai

There’s a new gang in Chiang Mai, Thailand’s major northern city, and they’re causing quite a ruckus about town. The Rock Mode Gang created a stir in the past week with their nude videos and stunts, but what appears to be a group of friends’ light-hearted fun could land them in seriously hot water with authorities.

The Rock Mode Gang’s most recent move was to bike down the popular Nimmanhaiman Road, a well-known and stylish neighborhood frequented by locals and ex-pats in Chiang Mai. The website Khaosod reported that “gang members filmed themselves riding on bicycles in their skimpy underwear … and uploaded the video clip on the internet. Some of them members could also be seen urinating on a car.”

The group gained notoriety earlier this week, when Thai police arrested 24-year-old Jetpol Chanboontawee after a video of him driving a motorbike through the streets of Chiang Mai was circulated on the internet. Interestingly, Chanboontawee got away with the stunt while he was actually riding around the city. But when the video of stunt drew attention, some viewers complained to the authorities, who then tracked him down and arrested him, according to the Bangkok Post.

If Chanboontawee’s arrest was meant to be a warning to others who might want to go for their own naked joyride, it seems to have had the opposite effect. One day after police apprehended the now-infamous nude driver, the Rock Mode Gang posted a video of themselves, genitals exposed, singing “Gumnun Style” – a Thai version of PSY’s “Gangnam Style” – and the Harlem Shake. According to Khaosod English, Chanboontawee appears to have been in the video, which may have been posted as backlash or in protest to his arrest.

Despite vows from police that those involved with the video will be punished, and the fact that the group’s naked videos violate Computer Crime Act of 2007, according to Khaosod, the group seemed undeterred when they took to Nimmanhaiman for their latest performance. Khaosod reported that 24-year-old Yongyoot Saenpun is the person responsible for uploading the videos, and has contacted the police with intentions to turn himself in.

But that does not let the other Rock Mode members off the hook, and Khaosod quoted a senior police official as saying the authorities were searching for the group and that “With the toughest punishment law available, they will learn to not disobey the law again.”

Fears of copycat performances have prompted outcry from some community members, and there is, of course, the fact that the members’ brazen disregard for police demands may have caused Chiang Mai authorities to lose face.

Those seem strong words for a group of friends who appear to simply enjoy goofing off and pulling pranks. Chanboontawee was charged with committing a lewd act, a charge his buddies now may face as well. But a look at some of the videos associated with Rock Mode that are posted on the Youtube channel ‘Bomzajung’ , such as barrel rolling and swimming down a flooded street, seem less sinister and more foolish. Indeed, these seem like the type of silly, ill-advised and occasionally funny stunts you’d see on the popular American TV show “Jackass.”