Hundreds of Motel Guests Filmed by Peeping Tom Website
A group of men have been arrested for secretly filming guests at love motels across the country.
The group are accused of installing tiny spy cameras in TV sets, electricity plugs and hair dryer holders in motel rooms since August last year and filming as many as 1,600 motel guests. They live-streamed the footage on a website.
Police said Wednesday that they arrested two men on charges of secretly filming and distributing video footage of motel guests having sex. Another two were booked for assisting them with the website.
The two arrested men, who ran an internet memory storage business together, plotted to film illegal video footage for money and started checking into dozens of motels in cities in Gyeongsang and Chungcheong provinces in August last year where they installed the mini spy cameras.
They then opened the peeping-Tom website in November and attracted 4,099 members in just three months. Non-paying customers were given access to sample clips, while paying customers got access to the live streams.
Ninety-seven customers bit and forked out around W7 million (US$1=W1,130). But one Internet user reported the website to police in December, and police arrested the two men in early March and shut down the website.
Police said that some 800 videos were filmed in the motels over the last seven months. "We have not detected any instances of the footage being distributed beyond the website," a police spokesman said. But it is quite likely that users downloaded the footage and distributed it. None of the victims appear to have complained to police so far.
Jung Seok-hwa of the National Police Agency said, "The cameras could be spotted if all of the lights were turned off in the room and a phone torch was shone on suspicious areas of the room, where it was reflected in the camera lenses and gave away their locations," but otherwise they were practically invisible.
Meanwhile, singer Jung Joon-young was arrested on Thursday on charges of secretly filming himself having sex and sharing the footage with his celebrity buddies on social media.
The Seoul Central District Court granted the arrest warrant due to concerns that he could try to destroy evidence.
The singer read out a letter of apology as he entered the courthouse. "I have committed an unforgivable crime," it said. "I will fully cooperate with the investigation and live the rest of my life repenting my offenses."
Police also arrested Jung's lawyer on charges of destroying evidence. The lawyer defended Jung when he was charged with a similar offense back in 2016 and falsely told police that a tech lab was unable to recover any data from Jung's phone.
Police also suspended an officer who handled the case at the time. The officer allegedly asked Jung's lawyer if he could obtain a letter from the lab confirming that the data was irrecoverable to allow him to close the case.
An investigator points at a spy camera hidden in a hair dryer holder at the National Police Agency in Seoul on Wednesday. /Yonhap
Jung Joon-young arrives at the Seoul Central District Court on Thursday.