Cambodia has deported tourists for taking nude photos of each other at the famed Angkor Wat temple complex for the second time in as many weeks.
Lindsey Adams (22) and her sister Leslie (20), from Prescott, Arizona, U.S., were convicted of public exposure and making pornographic images at the UNESCO World Heritage site. Each received a six-month suspended sentence and a 1 million riel (US$244) fine.
“They lowered their pants to their knees and took pictures of their buttocks,” said Keat Bunthan, a senior heritage police official in northwestern Siem Reap province, according to AFP.
The sisters were deported late Saturday and will not be allowed to return to Cambodia for four years. Authorities say the pair confessed their crimes and admitted their mistake.
Last week we reported that three French tourists were deported for also taking nude pictures of themselves at the famed temple complex. The trio – aged in their late teens and early 20s – also received six-month suspended sentences, were fined about US$250 each and were immediately deported from the country after they were convicted of producing pornography and for “exposure of sexual organs”.
While the French tourists claimed they took the photos as souvenirs, prosecutor Koeut Sovannareth told AFP that he believed the men were planning to publish the images.
“They said their goal was to take nude photos to keep as souvenirs, but we believe that their intention was to use the photos in publications such as a calendar,” he said.
These developments follow the circulation of photos on social media in January showing what appears to be a topless Asian women at the UNESCO World Heritage site. However, Chau Sun Kerya, spokesperson for Apsara Authority which oversees the temples in the Angkor Wat complex, said she believed that those images were photoshopped.
“We suspect they are photoshopped pictures, rather than real pictures, because professional photos need at least a half hour to prepare the place, and this is a tourist place, so they could not have done it. It’s impossible.”
Angkor Wat, which is considered a sacred site in Cambodia, attracts more than 2 million visitors a year and features on the Cambodia national flag. Authorities have said they are “deeply offended” by the actions of the tourists.