As reported by the Korea Herald, around 1,600 guests, staying in hotels in 10 cities in South Korea, fell victim to an illicit video camera scheme. They were secretly recorded by tiny cameras, hidden strategically around their hotel rooms and the video footage was then live-streamed to subscribers on an adult site. Some of these subscribers pay monthly fees for the “privilege” of watching the illegal content.

CNN quotes Seoul police as saying that this isn’t the first time cameras were secretly installed, capturing people in sensitive positions and then shared live on the Internet.

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Two arrests on Wednesday in hidden camera scheme

The Korea Herald noted that two suspects were arrested on Wednesday and are accused of illegally videoing and then live-streaming guests’ activities at 30 hotels across 10 cities in South Korea. The spy cameras were reportedly found in wall sockets, hairdryer holders and digital TV boxes in 42 of the hotel rooms.

Two other persons were reportedly arrested on Wednesday, who allegedly set up the spy cameras in the hotel.

While they were booked, they were not detained by police. According to police, there is no indication the hotels themselves were involved in the operation or knew anything about it. Said hotels included hotels, smaller inns and motels.

Illicit footage streamed on paid adult site

According to the CNN report, the illicit footage gathered by the hidden cameras was streamed live on a website which launched in November last year. The website has approximately 4,100 members, of which almost a hundred paid a $44.95 (£34) monthly subscription fee, which gave them access to “extra features” including the ability to play a variety of illicit live-streamed videos.

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According to police, those involved in the scheme earned around $6,200 (£4,720) from those paying subscribers. Should they be convicted, they could possibly face up to five years behind bars, as well as huge fines.

South Korea and its ‘spy cam epidemic’

The latest case is adding to a number of situations where spy cameras have recorded illicit scenes in the country.

According to a report by the New York Times last year, around 30,000 cases of this kind have been reported across the country since 2013.

Police officials in Seoul have now pledged to make regular checks in 20,554 public toilets in that city for hidden spy cameras.

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The Times wrote that women in the country now fear cameras could be placed anywhere in public spaces, including inside a toilet bowl, rolled in a plastic bag on a rubbish bin or disguised as a smoke detector in fitting rooms in ladies’ fashion shops. Women in South Korea have been protesting, with banners stating “My life is not your porn."