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Five British men arrested for ‘pornographic dancing’ in Cambodia

Five British men are being held in Cambodia for what officials have called “pornographic dancing”.

The men are among a group of 10 – including two women, who range in age from 19 to 35 – arrested as they manned a barbecue at a party in a villa on Thursday in Siem Reap.

They have been told they could be jailed for up to a year and could also face six months in detention waiting for the case to go to trial.

Cambodian police released images online appearing to show clothed and laughing tourists, some in sexually suggestive positions.

But one of the group, who spoke under condition of anonymity, said none of the people in the photos are those arrested and they are confused by the situation.

They said: “Honestly, it was really confusing. Everyone was confused. They raided, rounded us up – there was about 80 to 100 people at this party, some of them were tourists. There were about 30 of them [police officers].”

One of the group vomited in shock as they were taken away.

The prisoner added that they were being treated well and had even been bought pizza by the guards.

They have been assigned a Cambodian lawyer and are due in court later today.

They are understood to have been near to Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap. File pic
Image:
They are understood to have been near to Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap. File pic

The group arrested confirmed their identities and police have released a photo of the group. They include five British men; Vincent Harley Robert Hook, 35, Daniel Richard Leeming Jones, 30, Thomas Alexander Jeffries, 22, Billy Stevens, 21, and Paul Francis Harris, 32.

The other members of the arrested group include Job Robertus van der Wel, from The Netherlands, 22, Canadians Jessica Drolet, of Ottawa, 25, and Eden Koazoleas, 19, of Alberta, David Nikolaus Aleksandr Ballovarre, of Oslo, Norway, 22, and Paul Martin Brasch, 32, of New Zealand.

A statement from Cambodian police referenced pornography and dancing, adding that the 10 people had been charged following an investigation by the Office Combating Human Trafficking and Protection of Juveniles.

The families of the detainees are said to be “worried sick”.

The prisoner added: “Our parents are doing what they can. It’s really just trying to keep a good vibe until we know the outcome.”

The prisoner explained they think the arrests may have been linked to the targeting of tourists and expats wearing bikinis in public and taking part in pub crawls in Siem Reap.

“We’re innocent,” they said. “We don’t know why we’ve been arrested – we’re getting different stories from different people.”

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