In this photo dated Jan. 25, 2018, a group of unidentified foreigners, who are accused of “dancing pornographically” at a party in Siem Reap town. (Cambodian National Police via AP)

Two Canadian women arrested in Cambodia, charged over party photos

Several foreigners accused of producing pornographic photos during party near Angkor Wat temple

Two Canadian women arrested among several foreigners in Cambodia are facing charges of producing pornographic photos during a party near the country’s famed Angkor Wat temple.

A news release from the Cambodian National Police lists Eden Kazoleas, 20, and Jessica Drolet, 25, and eight men as being detained in the northwestern town of Siem Reap. CTV News reports that Kazoleas is from Drayton Valley, Alta.

“This is really, really concerning,” her aunt Donna Kazoleas told CTV. “Eden is a very, very good kid. She is very outgoing. She doesn’t smoke. She doesn’t drink.”

A Cambodian prosecutor Samrith Sokhon said Monday that the 10 foreigners — including five from the United Kingdom, and one each from Norway, the Netherlands and New Zealand — have denied any wrongdoing.

Still, there is “enough evidence to prove that they violated the law and, therefore, they must face charges,” Sokhon said.

The accused face up to a year in prison if convicted. Since they are in jail, they could not be reached for comment and it was not immediately possible to find the lawyer representing them.

Global Affairs Canada said it was providing consular services to the Canadians in Cambodia.

“Consular officials are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information,” said a spokesman, who added that he wouldn’t comment further to protect the privacy of those involved.

Police said they raided a rented villa Thursday in Siem Reap, where foreigners were taking part in what organizers called a pub crawl. Many were ”dancing pornographically,” officers said.

While almost 90 foreigners were detained, all but the 10 were released.

On Sunday, they were formally charged with producing pornographic pictures, which the prosecutor said had been posted on social media.

Photos released by police show young adults rolling around together on a dance floor. They all have their clothes on except for a few shirtless men who can be seen straddling some women.

The Khmer Times, an English-language newspaper close to the government, said some of the events were known as “Let’s Get Wet.”

A Facebook page for Let’s Get Wet parties in Siem Reap advertise “Asia’s biggest pool crawl.” It offers every Thursday “a whole day of partying in a Villa Mansion just out of town with hundreds of other backpackers” featuring a DJ, barbecue and pool.

Photos on the Facebook page showed young people in bikinis and swimsuits at pool parties.

Calls to the number listed on the page rang unanswered Monday.

It is not the first time young travellers have found themselves in hot water in Cambodia. In recent years there has been a flurry of tourists who posed nude or semi-naked for photos at landmarks, including ancient temple sites, then posted the pictures on the internet. When caught, they have been expelled from the country.

With files from The Associated Press, CTV

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Metchosin moves to regulate short-term vacation rentals

Airbnb operators could be required to have a business licence

Sooke mom threatens legal action against sunscreen company

Caleb Jordan, 6, was covered in blisters 20 minutes after using Banana Boat sunscreen

Mighty garage sale returns to Metchosin

Find everything from household goods to instruments

Victoria man arrested for sexual assault on BC Transit bus

Incident took place downtown, in broad daylight in front of fellow passengers

New reservation system in place at Island View Beach campsite

CRD launches new system for campers at the park

VIDEO: Tide pool school draws a crowd to explore seaside in Oak Bay

Friends of Uplands Park hosted the inter-tidal exploration at Cattle Point on… Continue reading

Woman’s death near Tofino prompts warning about ‘unpredictable’ ocean

Ann Wittenberg was visiting Tofino for her daughter Victoria Emon’s wedding

B.C. man facing deportation says terror accusation left him traumatized

Othman Hamdan was acquitted of terrorism-related charges by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in September

Will Taylor Swift’s high concert ticket prices stop scalpers?

Move by artist comes as B.C. looks to how to regulate scalpers and bots reselling concert tickets

36 fires sparked May long weekend, most due to lightning: BC Wildfire

As warmer weather nears, chief fire officer Kevin Skrepnek says too soon to forecast summer

Ariana Grande sends message of hope on anniversary of Manchester bombing

Prince William joins survivors and emergency workers for remembrance service

B.C. flood risk switches from snowmelt to rainfall: River Forecast Centre

Kootenays and Fraser River remain serious concerns

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 22

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Pipeline more important than premiers meeting: Notley

“Canada has to work for all Canadians, that’s why we’re fighting for the pipeline”

Most Read