“We’re innocent,” said the prisoner. “We don’t know why we’ve been arrested, we’re getting different stories from different people.”They said their families were “worried sick”, adding: “Our parents are doing what they can. It’s really just trying to keep a good vibe until we know the outcome.”
The group said they had been sleeping on the floor of an office at a police station in Siem Reap for several days and stressed that they had been treated well, saying officers were friendly and had brought them pizza.
The arrested individuals confirmed their identities. 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.
Job Robertus van der Wel, from the Netherlands, 22, the Canadians Jessica Drolet, 25, of Ottawa, and Eden Koazoleas, 19, of Alberta, were also arrested, along with David Nikolaus Aleksandr Ballovarre, 22, of Oslo, Norway, and Paul Martin Brasch, 32, of New Zealand.
An official Cambodian police statement referenced pornography and dancing in publicising the arrests. Ten suspects had been charged following an investigation by the office combating human trafficking and protection of juveniles, it stated.
Samrith Sokhon, a prosecutor at the court in Siem Reap, said the 10 suspects were being charged with producing “pornographic pictures and materials”, which can carry a sentence of up to 12 months.
Duong Thavry, the head of the anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection department in Siem Reap, said: “We cracked down on them because they committed activities that are against our culture.”