A new law in South Korea gives cash rewards to citizen vigilantes that spot evidence of corruption. As Ryan Brooks reports it’s spawning a cottage industry of classrooms training an army of aspiring paparazzi chasing after shady officials.
Paparazzi 101 in South Korea - but these students won't be tailing A-listers. They're training to be soldiers in Seoul's battle against corruption. A tough new anti-corruption law - brought in a week ago - is fueling an industry of camera-slinging snoops aiming to cash in on snaps and footage of government workers accepting gifts or meals that are a little over the top. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JU-MIN PARK, REUTERS REPORTER, SAYING: "This school teaches how to use secret cameras that obtain evidence such as picking up receipts from garbage baskets at restaurants and go out to places like weddings and funerals to bust these law- lawbreakers. They check prices of flower baskets or guest lists at families of high profile figures, weddings, or funerals." One study says the new law could cost consumer and entertainment companies more than 10 billion dollars... While a new class of crime fighters hope to get rich quick. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JU-MIN PARK, REUTERS REPORTER, SAYING: "The government's anti-corruption agency offers expensive bounties up to some 180,000 dollars which is pretty tempting for ordinary citizens.. We met some of the students who came here today, some - there are some young people and you know old retirees. One lady told me that she wanted to make enough to buy an apartment and also she wants to make a better society for their kids and the future generations." South Korea has a deep tradition of entertaining and gift-giving... But from now, officials who forget to split the bill on their next fancy dinner... can expect to face fines for their troubles... when the patriotic paparazzi hit the jackpot.