BANGKOK – Thai authorities said Monday they had arrested the owner of a sex show visited by pop icon Rihanna — the latest crackdown inadvertently triggered by the singer’s tweets.
The bar owner on the island of Phuket has been charged in connection with the lewd performance, local district chief Veera Kerdsirimongkol told AFP, following an operation involving undercover officials.
“It was the result of the visit by Rihanna. The authorities will be more strict towards inappropriate shows or wildlife attractions,” he said.
Thai tourist officials were left red-faced after Rihanna’s tweets last month drew worldwide attention to the kingdom’s seedier side.
“Either I was phuck wasted lastnight, or I saw a Thai woman pull a live bird,2 turtles,razors,shoot darts and ping pong, all out of her pu$$y,” she wrote in a message in September to her more than 32 million followers on Twitter.
“The birds feathers were all damp! Lol. Only in #Thailand,” she added.
“And THEN she tried to turn water into coke in her $!! Uhh yea, all I’m saying is water went in and soda came out! I’m traumatized!!!”
It is the second time the pop diva has unwittingly helped to clean up Phuket, one of Thailand’s top tourist destinations.
Last month two men were arrested for possessing a protected slow loris after Rihanna posted a picture of herself with the primate on a night out during the same visit to the island.
The image — captioned “Look who was talkin dirty to me!” (http://instagram.com/p/efvnHRBM3B/) — generated outrage from wildlife activists about rampant exploitation of animals in Thai tourist areas.
Use of the slow loris and other protected species for tourist snaps — while common in Thai tourist resorts — is officially illegal.
According to wildlife protection campaigners, mother lorises are often killed while the young are stolen. The primates’ teeth are also removed due to their toxic bite.
Thailand’s sun-drenched beaches and libidinous nightlife have long been a magnet for tourists from around the world.
But following a flurry of complaints, foreign diplomats have called for a crackdown on scams and crimes against tourists in Phuket.
Local tourist police volunteers warn against venturing into strip clubs offering “ping-pong shows” due to the risk of overpriced drinks and threats of violence against people who refuse to pay.
“As well as dealing seriously with inappropriate shows and drugs, police will do more to protect the safety of tourists as the high season approaches,” said Phuket police chief Ongart Phewreungnon.