Thu, Dec 04, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Taipei police arrest four over MRT nude photos

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Four people have been arrested in connection with a nude photography shoot in the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, including a man said to be the operator of a “Beauty Club” Web site which posts X-rated pictures taken outdoors, the Taipei City Police Department said yesterday.

The four include a man surnamed Hua (華), who reportedly runs the Beauty Club site and is believed to be the organizer of the photo shoots; a man surnamed Liao (廖), who is believed to be the photographer; and Liao’s girlfriend, who is believed to have been the model; and another man, who was not identified.

Police said the four were suspected of violating the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法) and would also be charged with public indecency.

A series of photographs of a woman in various states of undress at an MRT station began circulating on the Internet and social messaging networks in September, sparking a public uproar.

The photoshoot’s location was later identified as the Xianse Temple Station (先嗇宮站).

The pictures triggered debates online and off over morality, sexuality, pornography versus erotic art photography and privacy versus personal freedom.

A Criminal Investigation Division spokesperson said the probe into the photographs took some time as it included contacting Interpol for help because the Beauty Club site administered by Hua is linked to a US-based server.

The club is reportedly open to members who pay NT$4,200 per year.

Members are encouraged to take part in “outdoor nude photo shoots” and then upload their photos to gain points that would help them upgrade their membership status.

Investigators said most of the photos uploaded were X-rated images of naked or partially dressed females in public places and other outdoor locations.

Most of the models were reportedly the wives or girlfriends of the photographers.

The investigators said they were surprised to find the Web site contained many photographs were taken in Taiwan, at railway stations, in city parks, hillside hiking trails around Taipei, shopping areas and other public settings.

A police spokesperson said the public should remember that public nudity violates the rights of others, is against social morality, and that people caught undertaking such actions will be arrested and charged.

According to investigators, the Beauty Club site has about 30,000 members in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China and was said to making plans for “swinger” activities.

Also reportedly in the works were plans to organize a nudist camp at next year’s Spring Scream in Kenting, Pingtung County.

Police officials said they will track down the 15 couples who signed up for the events, who could face charges of offenses against sexual morality.

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