Police looking for more suspects in ex-monk scandal

Authorities in Phnom Penh are seeking additional suspects in the sex scandal at Wat Sras Chak pagoda, where a defrocked monk was charged with making video recordings of more than 100 naked women while they bathed in holy water, according to Pong Savrith, deputy commander of military police in the capital.

“Now that we have slowed down the spread of the images of one of the victims on mobile telephones, we are continuing to investigate this crime for more suspects,” said Mr Savrith.

Mr Savrith said that although the ex-monk Neth Kai claimed he had no accomplices, police suspected that others may have been involved both in filming the victims and in distributing one of the videos to mobile phones.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday charged Neth Kai, who is accused of secretly filming more than 100 nude women at the pagoda since 2008, with producing and disseminating pornography under anti-human trafficking statutes, according to deputy prosecutor Ek Chheng Huot, who said that Neth Kai was in provisional detention at Prey Sar prison.

“I think that authorities will go on to arrest another suspect, because I do not believe that just one person could have produced so many films,” said Chan Soveth, chief monitor at human rights group Adhoc.

Judge Chaing Sinat said that some of the women Neth Kai allegedly filmed had been identified as minors, which could potentially add years to any sentence.

“We have identified some of the victims as minors, which could mean added prison time for former monk Neth Kai,” said Judge Sinat. “We appeal to all victims to file complaints against him so that we have more details.”

 

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