BANGKOK (AFP) – Three French tourists will be deported from Cambodia after they pleaded guilty to taking nude pictures of each other inside the country’s famed Angkor temple complex, a prosecutor said Saturday.
The male tourists were arrested on Thursday after they were discovered taking naked photos inside the Banteay Kdei temple at the world heritage site in northwestern Siem Reap province.
The three men, who are all in their early twenties, received a suspended six-month prison sentence and will be banned from re-entering Cambodia for four years.
“They confessed to making a mistake and asked for the Cambodian people to forgive them for their actions,” prosecutor Koeut Sovannareth told AFP.
The arrests caused deep anger among Cambodian officials, who said taking nude photos at such a sacred site was deeply offensive.
“They will be deported from Cambodia very soon,” Sovannareth added, saying the three were convicted on two charges – public exposure and making pornography. The court also ordered the three men to pay a fine of $750.
“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,” Sovannareth said.
The tourists were caught just days after a series of photos of Asian women posing nude at ancient Cambodian temples went viral online and outraged officials.
The Angkor Archaeological Park, a world heritage site, contains the remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, dating from the 9th to the 15th centuries, and is Cambodia’s most popular tourist destination.