Phuket, Thailand — Pop star Rihanna has stirred controversy with some photos from her recent visit to the Thai island of Phuket that she posted on Twitter and Instagram.
The singer visited Phuket for a few days between shows on her Diamonds World Tour, and departed for Singapore on Sunday.
One photo showed her holding a loris, an endangered primate native to Southeast Asia, captioned “Look who was talkin dirty to me!”, was “liked” by over 230,000 viewers on Instagram.
However, it’s illegal for anyone to charge tourists money to take photos with the endangered primates.
When outrage over Rihanna’s loris image spread, Thai officials quickly went on the defensive, and a raid on suspected touts led to the arrest of two men, aged 16 and 20, who they took to the local police station and presented to the media, according to reports.
“It is very difficult to do the raids because the touts have spies,” leader of the patrol officers, Awat Nithikul, told The Phuket News.
“If someone hears that the police are coming their way, there will be a person who calls the touts and tells them to move. But this is a big deal because it might affect Thailand’s reputation.”
The Thai newspaper says the two arrested touts are waiting to be bailed, and the two lorises will be returned to a national park in nearby Phang Nga province.
But that wasn’t the only issue Rihanna stirred up. Her tweets about bizarre sex shows at some of the nation’s more infamous tourist attractions she visited embarrassed officials.
One official said, “Sex shows were completely against the law”, reported the Bangkok Post.
“The authorities and law officials have surveyed the area to arrest and fine those involved [in staging sex shows],” he said. “But the shows still happen.”
On the other hand, some of Rihanna’s holiday photos will be appreciated by the Thai tourist industry, such as the mulitple shots of her in bathing suits that show off the area’s gorgeous scenery.
She has over 9.7 million followers on Instagram. Image/Instagram/telegraph.co.uk