A group of foreign tourists have been reportedly barred from leaving Malaysia after allegedly stripping and photographing themselves on Mount Kinabalu in eastern Malaysia. Local reports quote an official blaming their act on the sacred mountain for causing a deadly earthquake on June 5.
Locals blame earthquake on nude tourists
01:34 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

NEW: A total of four tourists arrested in Malaysia for stripping on mountain

Locals said their behavior was disrespectful, caused earthquake

Mount Kinabalu was rocked by an earthquake Friday in which at least 16 died

CNN  — 

Police in Malaysia have arrested four foreigners believed to have been part of a group of tourists who stripped naked at the summit of Mount Kinabalu, according to Bernama, Malaysia’s official news agency.

The arrested tourists were two Canadian brothers, a Dutch woman and a British woman aged between 20 and 33, said Jalauddin Abdul Rahman, police commissioner in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah.

The British woman was arrested by police at Tawau Airport on Tuesday as she was about to leave for the capital Kuala Lumpur, Bernama reported.

The other three turned themselves in on Tuesday evening.

A local magistrate’s court said they would be held for four days while the “obscene act” that took place on the mountain was investigated.

The suspects could face up to three months in jail or a fine if convicted.

The mountain was shaken by an earthquake Friday in which at least 16 people were killed.

The indigenous people of Sabah believe the tourists’ behavior on May 30, deemed disrespectful of local culture, angered the spirit of the mountain and was the reason for the earthquake, Bernama reported.

The tourists names were not released.

Jalaluddin said police were still looking for the other tourists who stripped on the mountain.

“According to the picture… you can see 5-10 people who are naked, but for now, we have detained four of them,” he said.

“We will continue the investigation and look for who else is involved, and if they are still in Sabah, we will catch them.”

Fatal earthquake

Among those killed Friday were several students and at least one teacher from a primary school in Singapore who were on a trip to Mount Kinabalu when the magnitude-6.0 quake struck.

Many made it out alive – including 167 climbers helped to safety by mountain guides, Malaysia’s fire and rescue department said Sunday.

The UNESCO-listed Mount Kinabalu National Park – including the namesake peak, which rises to 4,095 meters (13,435 feet) above sea level – is a geographic jewel in Malaysian Borneo.

It’s so popular that visitors have to book two to three months in advance to secure one of 196 daily allocated hiking permits.

Naked tourism

It’s not the first time tourists have made headlines for failing to keep their clothes on at tourist attractions.

Cambodia deported two U.S. tourists for allegedly taking nude pictures at Angkor Archaeological Park after a string of nudity-related incidents hit the religious sites early this year.

At least eight tourists were detained in three separate incidents for getting naked and posing for photos in Machu Picchu, the 15th-century Inca citadel in Peru last year.

Journalist Chan Kok Leong in Kuala Lumpur and CNN’s Maggie Wong in Hong Kong contributed to this report.