National Police officers have arrested two people - a man and a woman - and seized more than 70,000 videos after hidden cameras were discovered in public toilets for women at a shopping centre in Malaga.
A small plastic device meticulously placed next to the toilet door appeared to be an air freshener, but what it hid inside was a battery, which was attached to a motion detector, a micro SD memory card and a small camera.
According to police sources the two people arrested had 71,080 videos recorded in this way from various establishments in the province apparently with the intention of publishing them on an internet page for “financial gain”.
The investigation began on 17 January when a shopping centre in Malaga city found the strange devices installed in the women's toilets. They did not know who had put them there, so they decided to alert the National Police.
At first, only the housing for what appeared to be air fresheners were found, with nothing inside. While specialists analysed them for clues the police made more enquiries and found five more of the supposed air fresheners. Inside there was a battery, which was attached to a motion detector, a micro SD card and a small camera, with which they recorded the women.
Investigators began an analysis of the images found on the memory cards and, since they had a motion sensor, the cameras recorded the person who installed them. Despite the fact that only her clothing was visible, they managed to identify the suspect, a 31-year-old woman.
But she was not acting alone. Officers found out that a 44-year-old man – her uncle - also accompanied her.
With the two suspects arrested, both of their homes were searched, and 71,080 videos of women in public toilets were found.
The National Police said the video files were classified by categories, based on the physical characteristics of the victims.
Among other items, officers found 84 devices for concealing the recording systems, 27 cameras with motion sensors and 21 batteries.
In addition, another 1,187 videos were found in which the arrested man is seen having “sexual relations” with various women. It is not known if they were recorded with their permission. They also found 2,300 photographs of minors.
The investigation remains open, pending the analysis of the huge number of files seized by specialised officers. The involvement of other people in the case is not ruled out.