Three foreign tourists will be deported after being arrested on Thursday evening while joyriding naked around the countryside in Kandal province, immigration police and local officials said on Friday.
The tourists—Finnish citizen Catarina Aarnio, Italian Giancarlo Allocca and British national Crawford Brown—were arrested by police in Loeuk Dek district’s Peam Raing commune after they rode their motorbikes past the commune police station completely nude, the commune police chief said.
“We saw them drive in front of our commune police station, and then I ordered my officials to follow them and stop them,” said Chuon Chomkol.
“They drove when they had no clothes on. It looked so indecent in public and in our country, so we needed to arrest them.”
Mr. Chomkol said the trio had apparently been planning to cross a border checkpoint to Vietnam in Loeuk Dek district, although it was unclear how they planned to travel across while naked and avoid the ire of border officials.
“When they drove they looked so happy, and a man took photos for the other two,” he said.
“I don’t know for sure the law of this case, but I had to arrest; I can’t let foreigners act like this, even though they didn’t know of our traditions because our country has never had people do these acts.”
Mr. Chomkol said the foreigners did not immediately stop when police gave chase because they were not aware that they had done anything wrong.
After their arrest, the local police sent the trio to be dealt with by the Interior Ministry’s immigration department in Phnom Penh, he added.
Uk Heisela, the chief of investigations at the immigration department, said the three would be deported for violating Article 249 of the Penal Code, which deals with indecent exposure.
“We sent a letter requesting to deport them, and we will receive a [response] tomorrow morning, but we might deport them before the letter is issued because we don’t want them to miss their flight,” he said.
Mr. Heisela added that the three would be permanently barred from entering Cambodia again in the future.
“We can arrest anyone who makes pornography in public. It affects our society,” he said.