'Naked' tourists fly to KL for deportation from Malaysia
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Four Western tourists flew to Kuala Lumpur Saturday to await deportation from Malaysia after pleading guilty to obscenity charges for taking nude photos on a popular mountain on Borneo island, their lawyer said.
The 4 – Eleanor Hawkins of Britain, 24, Dutchman Dylan Snel, 23, and Canadian brother and sister Lindsey, 23, and Danielle Petersen, 22 – were arrested earlier this week in the wake of a deadly June 5 quake which killed 18 people on Mount Kinabalu in Sabah state.
Some in Malaysia including officials had blamed their actions for causing the deadly 6.0 earthquake.
They were fined 5,000 Malaysian ringgit ($1,330) by a local court on Friday, June 12, and sentenced to three days' jail time starting from when they were arrested on Tuesday, June 9, meaning their term had been served.
"They have left Sabah to Kuala Lumpur and usually immigration will ensure they are on the next available flight out of Malaysia," said their lawyer Ronny Cham.
Sabah immigration director Noor Alam Khan Abdul Wahid Khan was quoted by the New Straits Times as saying the 4 would be taking connecting flights to their countries once they reached Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.
The 4,095-meter (13,435-foot) peak, a World Heritage Site and popular climbing destination, is considered sacred to tribal groups on Borneo, and many Malaysians were incensed after the photos taken May 30 circulated on the Internet.
The 4 were among a larger group of tourists believed by authorities to have stripped on the mountain, with police still hunting for 5 others.
The earthquake, rare for Malaysia, sent landslides and boulders raining down just as more than 150 hikers were near the summit enjoying its sunrise views.
The 18 dead included 7 schoolchildren from Singapore, along with two of their teachers and another adult who were on a school excursion to the mountain. – Rappler.com