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SPY

Peeping tom camera found in girls’ showers

A tiny spy camera disguised as a towel rack was discovered in a women’s shower room in western Sweden. Officials say video from the hidden device was ”for sexual purposes.”

Girls have been filmed showering at the Bergdalens IK sports clubhouse in Borås and police believe that video taken was used for sexual purposes.

”We do not know how long it lasted nor how many have been filmed,” Borås police investigator Sture Thorstensson told local newspaper Borås Tidning (BT).

The incognito camera, a type of spy camera that can be ordered online, was discovered Tuesday evening after a junior male training session. Men use the women’s shower room when ladies are off from their training.

The lens was disguised as a towel rack that looked as if it were about to fall off and hung about one metre above the ground recording both video and audio footage.

Bergdalens IK immediately filed a police report and handed over the camera and its memory cards for forensic examination.

”The camera has been running now and then and has filmed the girls. It is too early to comment on the scope,” Thorstensson told BT.

With the club’s assistance, authorities will work to ”carefully and considerately” identify the females in the videos by showing only facial images of those affected to a very limited number of people at the club.

The shower room is primarily used by females ranging from 6-years-old up to adults.

Management at Bergdalens IK clubhouse have promised transparency during the investigation and will keep members up to date on the investigation via their website.

With no current suspects, the Borås police assume the possible motive was filming for sexual purposes and are working to trace the tracks and find who was sitting behind the camera.

Criminal charges could include sexual assault, sexual harassment and violation of the video surveillance law.

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SPYING

Sweden set for tougher laws against spying

The Swedish government wants to make it easier for police and prosecutors to combat spying against refugees in Sweden and against the country as a whole.

Sweden set for tougher laws against spying

In addition, such crimes will be subject to stiffer penalties, according to a bill expected to be presented by the government on Thursday.

The proposal includes a wider definition of both crimes, which are currently difficult to prosecute.

The minimum sentence for spying on refugees will be increased from simple fines to prison time.

The definition of spying on refugees will also be expanded to “unauthorized intelligence activity against a person”, according to the proposal, and is meant to address cases in which foreign powers attempt to spy on regime critics who have fled in Sweden.

Current legislation stipulates that the spying must take place in secret, but now the government also wants to cover cases in which information gathering takes place openly and is often followed by threats.

“This is unsavoury activity that we must take very seriously. Many feel that authorities in their previous home countries are trying to put pressure on them and keeping tabs on what they do. Considering that many refugees have relatives back in their home countries, things can go quite badly,” Justice Minister Beatrice Ask told the TT news agency.

Iran, China, Syria, Uzbekistan, and Eritrea are among the countries that are sometimes accused of spying on refugees in Sweden, but very few cases ever make it to court.

The proposed law will also broaden the definition of unauthorized intelligence activity directed against Sweden.

“We’re widening what can be criminalized and it’s directed toward activities that one can compare with the first stage of spying,” said Ask.

The new definition targets the secret gathering of information and scraps a current requirement that the purpose of the information gathering must also be proven.

“This has been sought after for a long time by the Swedish Security Service (Säpo) and others who investigate these types of crimes. They think it’s been too hard to bring forth evidence against the perpetrators,” said Ask.

Penalties for spying against Sweden will also tougher according to the new bill, to between six months and two years in prison, or four years of the crime is considered aggravated.

Stronger sentences makes it easier for investigators to have suspects held on remand or get authorization for telephone wiretapping and other “secret coercive measures”.

TT/The Local/dl

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