KYOTO (TR) – Kyoto Prefectural Police on Tuesday arrested two employees of an Internet mail order company for the alleged sale of a shoe containing a miniature camera used to take illicit photographs, reports the Kyoto Shimbun (July 1).
Officers charged the manager of the site Camouflage Camera, 25-year-old Takahiko Naito, and employee Atsuko Sonoda, 24, with assisting in causing a public nuisance.
Between October of last year and March, the suspects are alleged to have sold athletic shoes that include cameras to three customers (including men in Gunma and Kyoto prefectures) knowing that the merchandise would be used to facilitate the taking of photographs of the underwear of women.
The case is the first of its kind in Japan.
The specialty shoe, whose shutter is triggered with a remote control, sells for 27,600 yen, according to Nippon News Network (July 1). Since 2012, the site has sold 2,500 units, with revenue from the sales totaling around 60 million yen.
Naito has admitted to the allegations, while Sonoda denies the charges. “I didn’t know what the customers did with the cameras,” Sonoda is quoted by police, according to public broadcaster NHK (July 1).
The matter came to light in February, when the customer in Kyoto was arrested for taking photographs inside the skirt of a female high-school student.