Briton arrested in South Korea on charges of secretly filming women

Nicola Smith
·2-min read
The suspect is accused of secretly filming women on South Korean streets - Ahn Young-joon/AP
The suspect is accused of secretly filming women on South Korean streets - Ahn Young-joon/AP

South Korean police have confirmed a British man is in custody on charges of illegally filming women using hidden cameras and then distributing the footage on his website. 

The man, who has not been named, allegedly approached 10 women on the street and filmed them without their consent during a visit to South Korea in August 2018, the Korea Times reported. He is also suspected of committing similar crimes in Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong. 

The problem of secret spy-cam pornography, known locally as “molka”, has long been widespread in South Korea, prompting tens of thousands of women in recent years to take to the streets in mass protests and instigating a police awareness campaign about its devastating impact.

The epidemic of high-tech voyeurism has often involved men – sometimes boyfriends and relatives – filming women without their knowledge in schools, offices, trains, toilets and changing rooms. 

The footage is often lucrative. One porn website that attracted more than a million users and hosted thousands of spy-cam videos was shut down in 2016, but the number of reported incidents remained at about 6,000 in 2018. 

Police this year stepped up efforts to crack down on digital sex crimes, setting up a special investigation headquarters following public outrage over scandals involving the abuse of women in social media chat rooms. 

In the case of the alleged British offender, officers began an investigation in September 2019 following media reports of the incident and requested an Interpol red notice on the man because he had already left Korea.

The man was arrested by police in Denmark in November last year and extradited to South Korea on July 31.

Access to his website has been blocked and an investigation has been launched into paid subscribers.