Sunday, February 15, 2009

vigilanti 'paparazzi' in Korea

This is a very interesting article.
In South Korea, vigilanti 'paparazzi' patrol the streets

Reporting from Seoul -- With his dapper red scarf and orange-tinted hair, Kim Rae-in is a card-carrying member of the "paparazzi" posse, cruising across Seoul on his beat-up motorcycle on the lookout for the next "gotcha" moment.

He's not stalking starlets or pop singers. He's after the real money-making snaps: the slouching salary man lighting up in a no-smoking area, the homeowner illegally dumping trash, the corner merchant selling stale candy to kids.
The former gas station attendant isn't choosy. Even small crime pays big time -- more than $3,000 last month alone, he says. "It's good money. I'll never go back to pumping gas. I feel free now."

The skinny 34-year-old is among a new breed of candid-camera bugs across South Korea -- referred to as paparazzi, though their subjects are not the rich and famous, but low-grade lawbreakers, whose actions are caught on film that is peddled as evidence to government officials.

In recent years, officials here have enacted more than 60 civilian "reporting" programs that offer rewards ranging from as little as 50,000 won, or about $36, for the smallest infractions to 2 billion won, or $1.4 million, for reporting a large-scale corruption case involving government officials. (That one has yet to be made.)
[to read the rest of the article click here]

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