SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean police have arrested four people for allegedly installing hidden cameras in the rooms of an entire motel and attempting to extort money from the hundreds of guests who were filmed.
The suspects filmed for months and tried to blackmail some guests with threats to release their videos but their extortion attempts failed to obtain any money, said Seo Sang-hyeok, an official from the cyber-crime unit of Seoul Metropolitan Police.
Seo didn’t provide details on how the suspects installed the cameras at the motel in Yangpyeong, near the capital Seoul. A local newspaper reported the suspects bribed a motel employee to install tiny cameras on the monitors of computers in each room while he cleaned them.
State prosecutors, who received the case from police following the arrests earlier this month, didn’t immediately comment Friday on whether they had indicted any of the suspects.
South Korea has struggled in recent years to deal with perpetrators who install tiny cameras in motels, bathrooms and other spaces to film sexual footage or nudity and release the footage through illegal websites.
Thousands of women marched in Seoul in 2018 calling for stronger government action to fight the spread of images taken by hidden cameras, which they said has women living in constant anxiety and distress.
The National Police Agency recently told Justice Party lawmaker Jang Hye-young that police have investigated nearly 30,000 cases of crime related to hidden cameras over the past five years.