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Spy camera hidden in screws sold online, easily bought by anyone in S’pore

Who even looks at screws?

Sulaiman Daud | March 22, 12:42 pm

It’s surprisingly easy and affordable to buy one of those hidden spy cameras that have hogged headlines as of late.

A search for “hidden cameras” on local e-commerce platforms, including Shopee, Qoo10, Lazada, Carousell and EZBuy and turns up a number of these little devices that can serve devious ends.

Spy cams for sale

For example, this one:

Screen shot from Shopee.

It’s a camera that can be hidden in innocuous-looking screws.

In the product description, the seller even suggests it can be used as a “spy” camera, for home, office and school use.

He did not elaborate for what purposes the camera could be used.

Screen shot from Shopee.

The search also turned up a couple of other hidden or spy cameras, disguised as pens or even bathroom hooks.

Screen shot from Shopee.
Screen shot from Shopee.

The description of the bathroom hook camera mentions that it could be used to spy on “intruders and friends” alike.

The main concern is that these types of hidden cameras could be used for illicit activities, such as making recordings of people without their knowledge or permission.

Available elsewhere

The exact same hidden camera for screws can be found for sale on Qoo10, albeit at a higher price:

Screen shot from Qoo10.

Similar devices can be found on Carousell:

Screen shot from Carousell.

Lazada:

Screen shot from Lazada.

And EZ-Buy:

Screen shot from EZ-Buy.

Man jailed for installing spy cam and recording obscene videos

On March 21, a man was sentenced to three years’ in jail for recording obscene videos of women in the bathroom.

According to The Straits Times, he had installed a hidden camera shaped like a metal hook in order to record such videos in a public bathroom.

Government won’t regulate the sale or use of spy cams

Back in November 2018, Workers’ Party Non-Constituency MP Daniel Goh asked in Parliament if there was a need to regulate the sale or use of such spy or hidden cameras.

In a written reply, Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam said that it was “unworkable” to ban spy or hidden cameras.

He gave the example of mobile phones, which comes with cameras and could be concealed to take secret photos or videos.

Penal Code to be reviewed to tackle voyeur crimes

Instead, the government aimed to deter such offences by reviewing the Penal Code and specifically meting out punishments for voyeur crimes.

The Criminal Law Reform Bill, part of the Penal Code review, was tabled in Parliament in February.

It added a new section, labelled “Voyeurism”.

Penalties include jail terms, fines, and caning for making, distributing or possessing such photos or videos.

The second reading of the Bill is scheduled for May.

When contacted, Shopee said:

“We comply with local laws and regulations in every market where we operate, including Singapore.

We also require every seller on Shopee to abide by our policies and guidelines, including our policies on product listings.”

(Update: This article has been updated to include examples of other spy and hidden cameras on different e-commerce platforms.)

Related story:

“Unworkable” to tackle voyeur crimes by regulating sale of spy & hidden cameras, says K Shanmugam

Top image collage from Shopee.

 

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About Sulaiman Daud

Sulaiman believes that we can be heroes, if just for one day. His favourite Doctor is Peter Capaldi's Twelve, although he is falling in love with Jodie Whittaker's Thirteen. He also writes about film and pop-culture, which you are very welcome to read here.

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