Two American men who ran an Instagram account called “Traveling Butts” where they showcased their bare behinds at famous places around the world have been arrested for pulling the stunt in Thailand.
Travis and Joseph Dasilva, both 38, a married couple from San Diego, are accused of exposing themselves in a butt selfie — or “belfie” — in front of Bangkok’s famous Wat Arun, or Temple of Dawn, according to ABC News.
Signs outside the Buddhist temple ask tourists to wear modest clothing covering their shoulders and knees, ABC reported.
The men posted the photo online last week and had been on a government watch list ever since. Immigration police took them into custody Tuesday at Don Mueang International Airport as they were leaving the country.
“The two American citizens have admitted taking the picture,” district Police Chief Jaruphat Thongkomol told the media. He said the men might have taken a similar photo at another temple in Bangkok.
The Bangkok Post reported the men were fined $153 each and that police on Wednesday were preparing serious computer crime charges for posting pornographic photos on the Internet, and religious insult.
Together, the charges pose a possible punishment of 12 years in prison, according to the Post.
Their Instagram, which had more than 14,000 followers, appears to have been deleted.
The predominantly Buddhist country is very conservative, where public nudity is considered offensive and revealing clothing frowned upon, according to Britain’s Independent
“The charge would not be a normal public indecency charge,” said a statement issued by the Thai government.
“Instead, they would be charged with committing indecency in a place of worship, which carries a long jail term. This is a reminder that everyone should have respect for Thai religion and culture.”
The men reached out to San Diego City Commissioner Nicole Murray-Ramirez for help, reported the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News.
“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 the publication.
The men remain in police custody. Another possible scenario for their fate: Thai immigration officials revoke their visas, deport them and forbid them from ever visiting again.