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US tourists held for baring bums at Wat Arun

BANGKOK: Two American tourists have been held for “inappropriate behaviour” after sharing photos of them baring their buttocks at a famous Bangkok temple, Thai police said today (Nov 29).


Wednesday 29 November 2017, 02:51PM

Immigration police arrested two Americans at Don Mueang airport and said they confessed to posing for photos at the Temple of Dawn while showing their naked buttocks. Photo: Immigration Police

Immigration police arrested two Americans at Don Mueang airport and said they confessed to posing for photos at the Temple of Dawn while showing their naked buttocks. Photo: Immigration Police

The pair, Joseph and Travis Dasilva, both 38, uploaded pictures last Friday (Nov 24) of their bared backsides at Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn) to Instagram.

It was not immediately clear if the men were related.

But their asinine antics could land them in more serious trouble after police sought to charge them under a computer crime law – an offence that can carry jail time.

The riverside temple, whose ancient ‘prang’, or tower, is one of Bangkok’s best known landmarks, features on the logo of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

The men were detained at a Don Mueang airport late yesterday (Nov 28) and fined $150 (B8,130) each.

“They were detained as they were about to leave Thailand,” Col Cherngron Rimpadee, an Immigration Police spokesman said, adding they were on a ‘watch list’ after their social media posts caught authorities' attention.

Colonel Jarupat Thongkomol, from the police station near the temple which is managing the case, said the men now faced more serious charges.

QSI International School Phuket

“We are now seeking court approval to prosecute them on Computer Crime Act for uploading pornographic pictures,” he said.

The act carries up to five years jail per charge.

Thailand takes a hard-line on disrespectful gestures towards Buddhism, the country’s dominant religion.

Tourists are told not buy and sell Buddha sculptures or get sacred tattoos or of images of the Buddha for fashion purposes.

People visiting temples are also expected to dress modestly, covering their shoulders and legs – with advice signs common at Bangkok’s religious landmarks.

In 2015 neighbouring Malaysia deported four western tourists after charging them with obscenity for taking nude photos on a mountain on Borneo island.



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Timothy | 30 November 2017 - 08:45:28

No need to "put them on the next available flight" they were at the airport waiting to leave Thailand. Yes, these guys are total idiots, but the temples are a becoming a bit of a joke. If they were more concerned with respect shown by the visitors, rather than money, they could simply not allow anyone in without proper attire.  

Christy Sweet | 30 November 2017 - 07:46:01

Ah the trusty Computer Crimes Act that can always be tacked that onto a misdemeanor to  make a felony case out of a harmless prank that no one would have heard about had it just gone ignored. 
Incidentally, while socially immature, these boys [italics] are extraordinarily attractive, I rather enjoyed the picture. 

Kurt | 29 November 2017 - 19:06:17

Talking about thai culture on Phuket.
I just red a comment of someone who memorize a part of thai Patong 'culture'.
Illegal opening times. Ping pong & sex shows.
The openly bribe culture of Officials.
All without limitations and complete absence of shame.
That happens in BKK as well.
So, don't be surprised when young non cultural tourists think there is not that extra thai cu...

Mika | 29 November 2017 - 17:06:53

Very happy that they caught these idiots.The fine is ok,now put them on the next available flight back to their country.The disrespect towards Buddhism or Thai culture by many stupid tourists and even expats is seen here everyday.Someone only has to go to Big Buddha.Signs everywhere to dress polite,yet many morons walking around with sleeveless shirts etc.

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