Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

Bar owner held over Rihanna tweets

Rihanna's tweets from Thailand have led to a number of arrests

Thai authorities have arrested a bar owner in connection with a lewd sex show mentioned in racy tweets by pop star Rihanna during her recent trip to Thailand - two weeks after an Instagram photo of the pop star with a protected primate led to the arrest of two other men.

Officials on the island of Phuket, 680 kilometres (420 miles) south of Bangkok, said the bar owner faced charges of obscenity and operating an entertainment venue without a permit.

Local district chief Weera Kerdsirimongkon said the man was arrested as part of a crackdown on shows featuring naked dancers.

"Authorities found out about this bar the morning after Rihanna tweeted about it, but we were not able to catch them violating the law until Saturday night," Weera said. "We had been waiting for them and finally caught them red-handed."

Weera said the bar owner could face up to one month imprisonment and a fine of up to 60,000 baht (£1,200).

This is not the first arrest originated by Rihanna's postings on social media. A photo of her with a slow loris, a squirrel-like animal with big eyes, on Instagram led local police to arrest a 20-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy, who could face charges of possession of protected animals. The charge carries a penalty of up to four years in prison and a 40,000 baht (£800) fine.

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