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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 December, 2004, 15:07 GMT
Action urged over Thai sex pests
Mobile phone sex pest (picture by Sresuda Winitsuvan)
Teenaged women are vulnerable to the sex pests
Teenage female students in the Thai capital, Bangkok, are demanding tougher action against sex pests who are taking advantage of mobile phone technology.

They have called for harsher penalties against males who use mobile phones to take pictures underneath their skirts.

Some of the photos have been posted on pornographic websites.

Under Thai law, such offences are deemed petty crimes which carry a fine of $25 and in exceptional circumstances a one month prison sentence.

Students say the fine is not enough, especially when such pictures can fetch many times that amount if sold to pornographic sites.

"The government should clamp down on this problem before it escalates totally out of control," said Vilaiporn Tonmai-gan, a 20 year old student from Somdej University in Bangkok.

It is difficult to file charges because it is hard to prove the pictures have been distributed and because in most cases the offender has not physically touched the victim
Waris Sonkaew, Bangkok police

"Its growth shows just how moral standards have deteriorated, in Thailand, where such incidents have appeared in television soap operas.

A recent high-profile incident involved a female representative at a motor exhibition, who sued a finance ministry official for sneaking his camera under her skirt and taking photographs.

'Crowded places'

He was sentenced to one month in prison and received a $25 fine. But his jail sentence was stayed in exchange for a community service order.

Police say they are trying to combat the problem but taking action against offenders can sometimes be difficult.

"Such people usually loiter around crowded public places such as overpasses or bus queues where it is difficult to prove what they are doing," said Waris Sonkaew from Thonglor Police station in Bangkok.

"We accept that people who carry out these crimes should be more heavily punished," he said. "But it is difficult to file charges because it is hard to prove the pictures have been distributed and because in most cases the offender has not physically touched the victim.


SEE ALSO:
German sparks Thai HIV scare
18 Oct 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Thailand's 'Swiss village'
20 Jul 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Thailand's cycle of trafficking
13 Apr 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Thai students block condom plan
28 Nov 03 |  Asia-Pacific
Thailand backs off on club curfew
02 Mar 04 |  Asia-Pacific


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