Police Seek More Suspects in Pagoda Pornography 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 suspect that others may have been involved both in filming the victims and in distributing one of the vi­deos to mobile telephones.

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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