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Thailand arrests U.S. tourists for taking nude photos at Buddhist temple

By Ray Downs
Thailand arrests U.S. tourists for taking nude photos at Buddhist temple
Thai officials arrested Joseph and Travis Dasilva after finding their Instagram photos, which showed them exposing their buttocks in front of a Buddhist temple. Photo by Joseph and Travis Dasilva via Thailand government

Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Two American tourists in Thailand are facing charges for exposing their buttocks in front of religious temples.

Joseph and Travis Dasilva, both 38, were arrested Tuesday after they took photos of themselves with their pants down while standing in front of the Wat Arun, one of Thailand's most famous Buddhist temples. But Thai authorities found the married couple's photos on Instagram and put them on a watchlist. And when they tried to catch their flight at the Bangkok airport to return home, they ended up in a Bangkok jail instead.

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"Once they are through with the charges, the Thai immigration police will revoke their visas and push for deportation," Pol Col Choengron Rimpadee, deputy spokesman of immigration police, told the BBC. "They will also be blacklisted from coming back to Thailand."

The Dasilvas have been charged with public nudity, which carries a fine of up to 5,000 baht (about $153). But they could face more serious charges and will be detained in a Bangkok jail until their day in court.

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"We are now seeking court approval to prosecute them on Computer Crime Act for uploading pornographic pictures," said Colonel Jarupat Thongkomol, according to the Telegraph.

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The Dasilvas are San Diego natives and reached out to San Diego City Commissioner Nicole Murray-Ramirez for help.

"Though I am very disappointed in their actions, I am talking to U.S. government officials to see what assistance we can give them," Murray-Ramirez told San Diego Gay and Lesbian News.

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Pol Col Choengron told the Bangkok Post that tourists should have simple good manners and show respect for places of cultural, historical and religious significance while in Thailand.

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