Uber driver admits to taking 800+ upskirt videos of passengers with hidden cameras

(Left) Police found an iPhone facing upwards with the screen showing a live upskirt video of a female passenger. The video was filmed via a pinhole camera (right) installed in the backseat of the car. Screengrabs via Apple Daily video.
(Left) Police found an iPhone facing upwards with the screen showing a live upskirt video of a female passenger. The video was filmed via a pinhole camera (right) installed in the backseat of the car. Screengrabs via Apple Daily video.

An Uber driver has pleaded guilty to taking hundreds of upskirt videos of female passengers via pinhole cameras trained on the back seat of his car.

Wong Yiu-long, 44, is the director of a courier company who decided to become an Uber driver in order to make some extra cash to pay off debts.

Sha Tin Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday that Wong was found out in the early hours of the morning on September 8. He was transporting a 28-year-old female financial adviser, referred to in court as “X”, who hailed the Uber at about 3am that day from Tsim Sha Tsui to the City One housing complex in Sha Tin.

Apple Daily reports that Wong picked X up in his seven-seat Toyota Vellfire, and she fell asleep during the ride.

About 15 minutes into the journey, Wong drove through Lion Rock Tunnel, but was stopped by police officers at the tunnel exit who asked him to do an alcohol breath test. He initially failed the test, but was asked to do it again and was found not to have exceeded the prescribed limit.

But during this period, one of the officers asked if he could move the car to a safer position, and when Wong said yes, the officer got into the driver’s seat and found an iPhone facing upwards in a small compartment on the right-hand side of the steering wheel, showing a live upskirt video.

Upon further inspection of the vehicle, the officer found that the back of both front seats of Wong’s car had pinhole cameras installed, and that the live video was of X.

The officer then woke up X and told her what happened. She was reportedly shocked and upset, and was later given a full refund of the fare, which was HK$235 (about US$30).

Police then went through the defendant’s iPhone, finding a total of 883 upskirt videos, 13 of which featured X.

Wong pleaded guilty to the charge of “illegal carriage of passengers for hire or reward” — hiring out a private vehicle without the necessary permits — and of “outraging public decency.”

In mitigation, Wong told the court that he was ashamed of what he had done, that he had a wife and son, and that the upskirt videos were an attempt to inject a bit of excitement into his life, adding that he was under a lot of stress.

The news couldn’t come at a worse time for Uber, which is fighting for acceptance in Hong Kong amid fierce resistance from the city’s taxi industry. Despite having been welcomed to the SAR by the government investment office, the ride-hailing giant’s operations are technically illegal due to Hong Kong’s permit laws surrounding cars for hire.

Acting chief magistrate Victor So Wai-tak said yesterday that passengers place a certain degree of trust in their drivers, and that the defendant’s behavior caused shock and distress to X.

So adjourned the case until March 21 pending a background report on the defendant.

Illegally hiring out one’s car is punishable by up to three months in prison and fines of up to HK$5,000 (US$637), as well as a three-month license suspension, upon the first conviction. Penalties are doubled upon subsequent convictions if the person is found to have committed the crime again in the same vehicle.

The maximum punishment for outraging public decency is seven years in jail.

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