Spy cameras found in S Korea polling stations

3 weeks ago 27

A person puts their voting paper in a ballot boxImage source, Getty Images

Image caption,

The authorities are searching for additional cameras ahead of advanced voting later this week

By Kathryn Armstrong

BBC News

South Korea is seeking to arrest two men for allegedly helping a YouTuber to install dozens of spy cameras at voting stations.

The authorities believe the pair are the accomplices of the social media influencer, who was seeking to confirm his unfounded election fraud claims.

The influencer, who is in his 40s, was arrested late last week.

Early voting in South Korea's parliamentary elections is due to take place on Friday and Saturday.

According to police in the western city of Incheon, illegal cameras were found at approximately 40 locations nationwide - including polling stations and vote counting centres.

Many of these were disguised as telecommunications equipment, Singapore's Straits Times newspaper reported.

On Monday, the head of the National Office of Investigation said that a search was underway for two men, one in his 50s and one in his 70s.

Charges against them include unlawful entry of properties and violating security laws, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

The influencer is said to hold far-right political views and had previously spoken of concerns over potential election manipulation in this and earlier elections on his YouTube channel.

When questioned by the media following his arrest, the man said he had "wanted to check the number of early voters", the Straits Times reported.

He also spoke of "feeling suspicious about the significant disparities between (the outcomes) of early voting and the main voting".

The publication said he was found to have installed cameras at early voting stations in South Korea's capital, Seoul, during a by-election last year.

The authorities are continuing to search for further hidden cameras and said they will carry out additional inspections ahead of voting.

The Korea Times reported that more than 3,500 polling stations will be opened for early voting and that four times this number will be in operation on 10 April - the day of the election.

The vote is being held to select members of the National Assembly, which is made up of 300 seats.

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