Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday charged a 24-year-old man with disseminating pornographic material after police allegedly caught him selling videos taken by the disgraced former monk Net Khai, police said yesterday.
Soeun Sopheak, who runs a business selling digital downloads for mobile phones and iPods in Tuol Kok district’s Phsar Depot III commune, was arrested on Thursday and confessed to selling pornographic video clips, according to municipal anti-human trafficking police chief Keo Thea.
Deputy municipal prosecutor Kry Sok Y said Mr Sopheak was charged with distributing pornography, which carries a sentence of between seven days and a month in jail and a fine of up to $50 under anti-human trafficking laws.
Undercover police allegedly caught Mr Sopheak selling videos of women bathing naked in so-called blessed water which were filmed by defrocked monk Net Khai, Mr Thea said.
Net Khai is accused of secretly filming more than 100 women over a period of two years at Sras Chak pagoda in Daun Penh district. He was charged with producing and distributing pornography on July 2.
Mr Thea said provincial police have been looking at ways to combat the illegal distribution of pornography by digital download. “We have police investigating and arresting those who sell illegal video clips for mobile phones,” he said.
Kong Phalla, head of Kampot province’s culture and fine arts department, said he had heard reports of Net Khai’s video clips circulating in his province. “I have discussed this with the provincial police chief…and it is difficult to combat modern technology like Bluetooth,” he said.
Interior Ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Khieu Sopheak said police had been taking measures to combat this threat for some time, but that the problem would continue so long as there are men willing to pay for pornography.
“If there are no buyers, there will be no market,” he said.
This particular case is “not acceptable in Cambodian culture,” Lt Gen Sopheak said. “I appeal to anyone who received these images to report them to the police, along with where they came from,” he added.
(Additional reporting by Ian Williamson)