Crime really does pay in South Korea—at least it does for anyone within lens-range of the criminal. Government rewards and ubiquitous technology have turned Korea into a nation of snitches—or paparazzi, as they are sarcastically called locally—with people able to earn a good living reporting on their fellow citizens for everything from polluting local rivers to blocking emergency exits, reports the New York Times. Reporting a cigarette tosser earns just $5, but illegally garbage dumping is $40, and something bigger like selling livestock without a license can fetch $850. Catching government corruption could earn up to $1.7 million.
“I’m making three times what I made as an English tutor,” said a 39-year-old paparazzo who says he earns $85,000 a year ratting out his fellow citizens. “Some people hate us,” Mr. Im said. “But we’re only doing what the law encourages.” (Read more South Korea stories.)