Malaysian charged in US with planting voyeur camera in plane toilet

Malaysian Lee Choon Ping became the first person to be charged under a law against video voyeurism in Houston. — iStock.com pic via AFP
Malaysian Lee Choon Ping became the first person to be charged under a law against video voyeurism in Houston. — iStock.com pic via AFP

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 — Malaysian Lee Choon Ping became the first person to be charged under a law against video voyeurism in Houston, Texas, after allegedly planting a hidden camera in the toilet of a United Airlines flight in May.

Lee was arrested last week and charged over the offence allegedly committed in the US’ maritime and territorial jurisdiction, according to the Houston Chronicle.

A female passenger aboard the flight discovered the spy camera hidden in the toilet of the plane’s first-class section, which was also where Lee had been seated at the time.

According to the court filings in the case, authorities identified Lee after comparing surveillance videos to the clips contained in the planted camera.

Lee was given away by the clothes he had worn then, which matched those of the person setting up the camera and recorded in the airports at Houston and San Diego.

Federal investigators said that while the person’s face was not fully visible, his combination of clothes and jewellery were “distinctive”.

The woman who discovered the camera had been alerted by a blinking light indicating it was recording.

“The item was loosely hanging and she wasn’t sure if the item was part of the aircraft, but thought it was odd,” a special agent from the FBI explained in a sworn statement quoted in the Houston Chronicle report.

“Once done in the lavatory, the identified female passenger stood up, grabbed the item with a paper towel, walked out of the lavatory and gave it to the flight crew.”

The cabin crew subsequently delivered the camera to airport authorities.

Lee is currently being held at a detention facility and awaiting a bail hearing.

According to a separate KRTK report, Lee is in the employ of US oil-and-gas giant Haliburton that also supplied authorities with a photograph of him in attire matching that of the person in the surveillance videos.

“Halliburton is aware of the situation and is cooperating with the FBI and US Attorney’s office in their investigation,” the firm said in a statement.

“We have a robust Code of Business Conduct and expect every employee to abide by the standards contained in the Code and all applicable laws.”

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