Malaysian religious authorities have denied allegations they filmed unmarried couples caught canoodling- an offence in Islam- and released the clips on the Internet, reports said on Tuesday.
The Selangor Islamic affairs department (Jais) said, it had tracked down several websites showing pornographic pictures of Malaysian women, including one which purported to be from their case files.
But it insisted its enforcement officers, who often conduct surprise raids on couples committing khalwat, or "close proximity", did not make photographic or video records of their work.
"Jais strongly denies claims that the video recordings on khalwat offences were made by its enforcement officers, distributed or handed to an individual to be downloaded to a website," director Mohammed Khusrin Munawi told the Star daily.
"Jais suspects that the recordings were aimed at damaging the image of the department and to draw more surfers to the websites," he said.
Under Islamic law, which operates alongside the civil code in multicultural Malaysia, "khalwat", close proximity between a man and a woman who are not married, is forbidden.
Malaysia's higher education minister Mustapa Mohamed reportedly said that khalwat topped the list of offences among university students.
Of some 3,800 "vice activities" reported over 35 years from 1961 to 2006, 737 were khalwat cases, the Star quoted him as telling Malaysia's parliament.
"To curb the problem, every university has set up an Islamic religious centre to provide counselling," he said.