Sex-video chatroom under police probe

Top News | Amy Nip 14 May 2020

A chatroom in the Telegram messaging app that allows members to exchange sex videos and pictures of their partners is being probed by police.

Dubbed the Hong Kong version of the Nth Room - in reference to a South Korean scandal - members of the group must upload content showing the faces of their own partners if they want to see videos and photos without pixels.

Members have reportedly talked about how they want their partners to be pictured in abusive sexual fantasies of other men.

The Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau is aware of the chatroom and has already advised the social media platform to shut it down, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah told legislator Eunice Yung Hoi-yan in a written reply yesterday.

In South Korea, law enforcers clamped down on an infamous instant messaging group known as the "Nth Room," where members paid up to US$1,200 (HK$9,360) to watch videos showing females - including underaged girls - being sexually abused.

The group had as many as 260,000 members and at least 74 victims were known. Some were raped on camera and others had the word "slave" notched into their skin.

The founder of the group, known as "Godgod" online, is 24-year-old college student Moon Hyung Wook, South Korean police revealed yesterday. He was held for questioning after his arrest this week.

Under Hong Kong's Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance, anybody who publishes obscene content is liable to a fine of HK$1 million and to imprisonment for three years.

"If the servers of the relevant social media and instant messaging groups are hosted in Hong Kong, they would also be subject to regulation," Yau said. Investigation is still ongoing on the distribution of pornography and obscene content in online social media groups in recent months.

To fight online crimes, the police carry out "cyber patrols" to collect and exchange intelligence with mainland and overseas law enforcement agencies and conduct joint operations, Yau said.

Police, meanwhile, have arrested a self-proclaimed martial arts instructor in an indecent assault case. The 33-year-old was charged with four counts of indecent assault yesterday and will appear in Sha Tin Magistrates' Court today.

He allegedly recruited females, including actresses, through Facebook, saying they would be paid for posing in videos to demonstrate martial arts positions.

The suspect, however, reportedly does not have any instructor qualifications and had trained in taekwondo for only a short period of time. He was believed to use the filming as an excuse to touch the women in Sha Tin.

District councillor Andy Yu Tak-po said at least 10 women had been victimized, including four aged 17 to 52, who reported to the police on Tuesday.

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