They placed hidden cameras inside wall sockets and hair dryers to catch a glimpse of hotel guests sans clothing in 30 motels across 10 cities in South Korea. Then they uploaded the covert videos of intimate activities online for profit. This new hotel spycam scandal involving four men is inciting outrage among South Koreans already on edge about the scourge of undercover filming which has swept their country. In September 2018, The New York Times explained that more than 30,000 cases of clandestine filming have been reported in South Korea since 2013.

In this instance, the hotel guests were often livestreamed on the website of the perpetrators. In total, more than 1,600 motel guests were victimized by the surreptitious filming.

Visitors to the website that hosted the footage could pay to watch full-length videos or opt for free 30-second clips. But authorities caught on and South Korean police recently arrested four men in connection with the ring. The men now face up to 10 years in prison and, if convicted, also face a fine of up to $26,571.

These charges are significantly more than the $6,200 the men reportedly earned while in the ring and are significantly harsher than the typical sentence handed down in similar cases, which stipulates a prison term of up to five years and a fine of $9,259, according to the Korea Herald. “The police agency strictly deals with criminals who post and share illegal videos as they severely harm human dignity,” an official of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s cyber investigation unit explained to the news outlet.

Pornography — both producing it and posting it online — is illegal in South Korea, a policy some blame for the spread of undercover filming. In this case, the owners of the website registered the site’s server outside of the country and were able to post a total of more than 800 videos before getting caught.

In Seoul, the installation of hidden cameras in bathrooms has become so rampant that the city has pledged to conduct daily inspections of its 20,554 public toilets. In 2017, more than 6,000 cases of “spy cam porn” were reported in the country, according to the BBC.

H/T: BBC

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