Spy cam porn ring films 1600 guests in Korean hotels, arrests made

Around 1600 people have fallen victim to a syndicate that was secretly filming guests in their rooms at South Korean hotels, according to police.

Tiny cameras hidden in power sockets and TV screens were found in hotels across 10 different cities, and used to secretly film guests.

Four men have been arrested for selling the footage online to paying customers. Investigations by Korean police have uncovered a ring that was watching 42 rooms in 30 separate hotels, spread across the country. However, there is no indication that the businesses were complicit in the recordings.

The small hotels involved in the scandal are common in South Korea and often referred to as motels or inns.

It is believed that the website the men were running to distribute the illicit recordings had at least 97 paying members and had earned them more than $8700.

The men, if convicted, could face ten years in prison and a fine of up to 30m won ($38600).

The covert filming of sex or nudity in Korea is illegal, but this has not stopped it becoming a huge problem for the country. It has come to be described as an epidemic.

Last year tens of thousands of women protested in the Korean Capital against the practice of “spy camera pornography”, wearing banners that read “My Life is not Your Porn.”

Seoul Police responded by forming a squad of female inspectors who have been specially tasked with inspecting the city’s 20,554 public toilets for recording devices.

However, this particular scheme might be the largest uncovered to date.

Since November, when the website displaying the material was launched, Police said that 803 separate videos had been uploaded to severs overseas.

The men had been profiting from the pornographic material by selling it via the website, and offering 30 second clips for free.

It was finally taken down last month.

“The police agency strictly deals with criminals who post and share illegal videos as they severely harm human dignity,” the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency told the Korea Herald newspaper.

However, the problem of Korean spy-camera porn seems not to be going away.

There were more than 6000 cases of “surreptitious filming” were reported in 2017. A huge increase on 2400 just five years before.

In spite of this, fewer than 2 per cent of the 5400 people arrested in 2017 connected to the secret filming were jailed.

The explosion of websites distributing the illicit material has also led to a huge number of victims who have unwittingly had their lives recorded and sold online.


Lee Ji-soo, a forensic IT professional has begun a service to help women remove images from the internet. Speaking to CNN she told the broadcaster that her company has had a huge spike in demand since last year’s protests.

“The most common things that the clients are saying – and they are quite heartbreaking -are ‘I want to die’ or ‘I cannot leave my house.’ Especially the victims of spy cam or illegally taken videos say that when they encounter people on the street, they feel like they would be recognised,” she told the news network.

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