A British woman is among four Westerners detained by Malaysian police on suspicion of posing naked on Mount Kinabalu. Mount Kinabalu is Malaysia's highest peak and a popular climbing destination. The tourists are believed to be among a group of 10 people who undressed and posed for photos on Mount Kinabalu on May 30, as part of a growing internet trend for taking nude pictures in famous places.
The British woman, who according to local press is 24 but has not yet been named, was detained at an airport in Sabah on Tuesday while trying to board a flight to Kuala Lumpur. Two Canadian siblings and a Dutch male surrendered themselves at a police station in Sabah later on Tuesday, police said.
"We detained all four of them on Tuesday... and yes we are still searching for the other six tourists, and we will catch them," the police chief said.
After the UNESCO World Heritage site was hit by a 6.0 magnitude quake last Friday, trapping more than one hundred climbers and killing and injuring dozens, the photos went viral, attracting outrage from locals who suggested the foreigners' nudity had drawn wrath of the mountain's aki, or protectors.
Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan appeared to blamed the deadly earthquake on the foreigners for showing "disrespect to the sacred mountain". He has said a special ritual will be conducted to "appease the mountain spirit."
But Masidi Manjun, Sabah's provincial tourism minister, said the idea that the naked photos had caused the earthquake was "misconstrued".