In March of 2019, it was uncovered that more than 1,500 hotel guests had been secretly filmed in 42 rooms across 30 hotels around South Korea. The footage was live streamed to paying customers via a specialist website that had in excess of 4,000 members.
The covert cameras were found disguised as general appliances in the rooms, such as digital TV boxes, hairdryer holders and wall sockets. It’s been reported that there’s no evidence to suggest that the hotels were complicit.
The police in South Korea arrested four men in connection to the case and issued a statement accusing the men of earning roughly 7 million won (equates to approximately £4,700) as a result of live-streaming or posting video to an overseas-based website over the course of several months. Reports claim that two of the men are considered main suspects and the other two are being treated as accomplices to the crime. If convicted, according to the local police, the two main suspects could face up to seven years in prison.
In the past, there has been similar cases in South Korea where covert cameras have been placed to spy on individuals. There was even another case where covert cameras were deployed in hotels, but this most recent case is the first-time police have been able to locate where the deployed covert cameras were broadcasting live online.
Allegedly, the two suspects considered accomplices were involved with funding the operation of the broadcasting site and the purchasing of the covert cameras. According to reports, one of the other suspects allegedly entered hotels as a guest in order to install the covert cameras, while another suspect was accused of launching and managing the broadcasting site, which has since been shut down.