Chong: Spy cameras being used mostly for entrapment and voyeurism
KUALA LUMPUR: Most people who have spy cameras use them for the wrong reasons, said MCA Public Complaints and Services Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong.
He said this had been the trend for the past 10 years.
“While some people buy them with good intentions such as monitoring maids and for security purposes, most of these hidden cameras are purchased with the intention of trapping someone in a compromising situation.
“Otherwise, why would they be hidden?” he said here yesterday.
Chong said he received two to three cases every year of embarrassing recordings or photographs taken without a person’s knowledge.
“Although this seems a small number, I take the cases very seriously. There have been some cases in which men were caught on camera in the nude or engaging in sexual acts by women who were out to blackmail them.
“Usually, the women are foreigners who target rich, married businessmen,” he said, adding that the cameras were placed strategically so that while the full image of the man would be captured, the woman could not be clearly seen.
Chong recalled a case in which two young women were secretly recorded by their landlord, who had leased a house to them at a cheap rate.
“One day, one of the women accidentally dropped a piece of soap into the bathtub. As she was looking for the soap, she discovered a wire and found the hidden camera,” he said, adding that the incident happened in Cheras about three years ago.
He said the woman complained to him about the matter and even threatened to commit suicide.
“I condemn such acts. It is so disgusting. The woman even told me that she would rather die than allow the footage to be circulated,” Chong said, adding that most of the victims were young women, politicians and rich businessmen.
Tourist guide Anne Molly, 53, said the emergence of these spy cameras was a cause for concern, especially for travellers in hotels.
“These devices can be planted anywhere or even hidden in plain sight like the clothes hook or tissue box.
“Now, I would check the hotel rooms I stay in thoroughly to ensure that none of these devices capture me in the shower or when I am changing,” she said.
Entertainer Edmund Dass, in his 50s, said these devices were often used to blackmail victims.
“The recording may also be uploaded on YouTube and other websites for public viewing,” he said.
Both Molly and Dass said they believed that licensing was necessary to regulate the sale of these devices to ensure that they do not fall into the wrong hands.