An investigation is underway after three Malaysian women on holiday in Porto discovered the apartment they were renting through Booking.com had a camera hidden in a plug socket fitted in the bathroom.
Police were called, and Booking.com is understood not only to have launched its own inquiry but to have suspended the property in Leça do Balio, Matosinhos, from its site and given the traumatised women a full refund.
As reports have explained, the trio only discovered the camera after midnight.
They were much too concerned to alert the owner of the property – living in an apartment below – so called police who arrived about half an hour later and “proceeded to remove the camera” while one of the women recorded the incident over Facebook.
Writing in Chinese, Rubee Woo said: “We found this mini-camera in the bathroom of the apartment on our first night in Porto. We were very afraid and wanted to leave straight away, but we were frightened because the owner lived below and it was already midnight”.
The young women thought quickly. By the time police arrived, they had packed their bags and decided to leave for a hotel.
Says Woo, “we handed the apartment keys to the police and left”.
“When we left the owner didn’t dare look us in the eye”, she added, saying she was “200% sure” he will have known about the camera.
But whether police actually do anything about the women’s complaint remains to be seen.
Woo writes that she’s a little concerned they took it all too lightly.
She claims she noticed the policemen “smoking with the owner” and fears no action will be taken because she and her friends are Asian.
“I didn’t want us to be bullied just because we’re Asian”, she wrote. “That’s why we decided to make a report with the tourist police the next morning”.
The girls were apparently told by tourist police that “there won’t be an update soon”.
Now, still travelling in Portugal, Woo says she and her friends are very wary of booking new places to stay.
Her original post however has gone viral over Reddit, and been shared on Facebook over 2,900 times.
Woo has since told Rádio Renascença that she will be submitting a complaint to the Malaysian embassy in Portugal in the hope that action will be taken.
The station says it has contacted local PSP police and is ‘awaiting an answer’.
Photos: Facebook / Rubee Woo