- REUTERS/Louis Nastro
- A man was arrested and charged with video voyeurism over accusations he put a video camera in the first-class bathroom of a United Airlines flight from San Diego to Houston.
- The man, Choon Ping Lee, could face a year in prison if convicted.
- A female passenger cited in court documents said she found the device after noticing an odd blinking light.
- The device was given to the FBI, which reportedly recovered older videos of women in a different airplane bathroom.
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A man has been charged with hiding a video camera in the first-class bathroom of a United Airlines flights.
Choon Ping Lee was charged with video voyeurism after the May 5 flight from San Diego to Houston, the Houston ABC affiliate KTRK reported.
Court documents cited by KTRK said the device was spotted by a female passenger who noticed its unusual blue blinking light while using the bathroom.
It had been placed near a cabinet and close to a door hinge, KTRK reported, citing court documents filed in the Southern District of Texas.
The woman in the documents said she recalled not being sure whether the device was part of the plane.
She said she wrapped it in a paper towel and gave it to the plane’s crew, which then gave it to United’s security team in Houston.
“The item was loosely hanging and she wasn’t sure if the item was part of the aircraft, but thought it was odd,” she told the FBI in a sworn statement reported by the Houston Chronicle.
United’s security then gave it to the FBI. Agents, according to the Chronicle, saw footage showing a man installing the camera and were able to identify him as Lee from other footage showing people boarding the plane.
The identification led to Lee’s arrest last week.
Officials from United confirmed that Lee, who is a Malaysian citizen, was a first-class passenger on the flight, KTRK reported.
If convicted, he could face up to a year in prison, a fine, or both.
Other footage on the camera – that had been deleted but recovered by the FBI – showed at least two women in a different airplane bathroom, the Chronicle and KTRK reported.
Lee was an employee at the oil-and-gas giant Halliburton, KTRK reported.
“Halliburton is aware of the situation and is cooperating with the FBI and US Attorney’s office in their investigation,” the company said in a statement.
“We have a robust Code of Business Conduct and expect every employee to abide by the standards contained in the Code and all applicable laws.”