ANG THONG — Police have arrested a monk in Ang Thong province after he was identified as the operator of a website that posts hidden-camera footage of women using the toilet.
Panuwat Limpattaya, 32, was arrested at his temple in Visetchaicharn district after police received complaints from more than 20 women that they had been filmed without their knowledge in the bathrooms of their offices and universities. The footage was later published on a website that charges a fee to view the clips taken by hidden cameras.
According to Pol.Lt.Col. Chuwong Uthaisang, an officer from the Technology Crime Suppression Division, the victims said they were also blackmailed by the website's administrators to pay an undisclosed sum of money in exchange for the removal of their videos from the site.
After identifying ex-monk Mr. Panuwat as the administrator of the site, police raided his temple yesterday to find Mr. Panuwat extorting one of his victims on the phone. Mr. Panuwat promptly confessed to police that he has been operating the website and installing hidden cameras in bathrooms across the country with an accomplice.
A police search of Mr. Panuwat's monk residence turned up a desktop computer, laptop, camera, and hard disk that contains over 1,000 clips of toilet footage. Mr. Panuwat was immediately defrocked by the temple’s chief monks.
The police also arrested Santipap Singsard, 27, who Mr. Panuwat identified as his accomplice. Mr. Santipap confessed and told police that he and Mr. Panuwat knew each other from another online pornography forum before they agreed to operate their own website.
Mr. Santipap said that he and Mr. Panuwat made a total of 60,000 baht per month from the website, which is now blocked by the authorities.
Mr. Santipap and Mr. Panuwat remain under police custody. They will be prosecuted under the Computer Crime Act.
Police have urged members of the public to closely examine toilets and changing rooms in department stores to look for possible hidden cameras, and to report anything suspicious.
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