The long May weekend is coming soon. However, before you head off on your happy holiday and book a hotel room, just keep your eyes and ears wide open.
Condom wrappers, drug packs, bottles of alcohol and other compromising items. These were the items that Mr Robert K., Security Manager at the Polish Hotel Holding was instructed to look for in the hotel room occupied by Bartosz Kramek of the Open Dialogue Foundation. According to an article by Wojciech Czuchnowski published in Gazeta Wyborcza, the Deputy Minister for Secret Police Services, Maciej Wąsik, was also allegedly involved in illegally investigating and compromising the opposition activist. “We have submitted a complaint to the Public Prosecutor’s Office about the abuse of power and excesses of authority by Messrs Maciej Wąsik and Joachim Brudziński, MP” said Bartosz Kramek.
In his reply, Gheorghe Marian Cristescu, CEO at the Polish Hotel Holding has stated that the news shared by Roberta K. is untrue, and all his actions are a kind of vengeance on the part of a former employee of the holding company, who wanted to extort the money undue to him from his employer.
Perhaps one day we will know the truth in this story. Currently, we are looking forward to the parliamentary meeting of the special services committee, which the opposition is planning to convene on this issue. There will likely be a prosecution and multiple lawsuits on the case.
The Polish Hotel Holding manages a network of more than 50 hotels, including a dozen or so facilities, which operate under globally famous brands, offering more than 6 thousand hotel rooms. The company should regard the brand image and reliability among hotel guests as its top priorities, considering that it is the second largest hotel group in Poland, and the first one in the category: ‘with solely Polish equity’.
Surprisingly, however, the information about wiretapping in PHH hotels has been commonly accepted as true, even among Gazeta Wyborcza’s critics. Perhaps this is because PHH is generally perceived as a company linked to the ruling Law and Justice party. In fact, the Law and Justice is increasingly becoming synonymous with an entity that tracks, eavesdrops and harasses citizens: a so-called “Rubber Ear Co-operative”, though exceptionally malicious. Therefore, in the common view, it is obvious that in a Poland ruled by Law and Justice, you can be videoed in restaurants, hotels and maybe even on the trains of the Polish National Railways when you refuse to eat a donated John Paul’s cream pie. This is precisely the case, because in a state ruled by Law and Justice, secret services are totally beyond control of any other authorities and the taxpayers who maintain them.
As a parliamentarian and journalist, I have spent many nights at hotels all over the world. I have been warned more than once that at a given hotel, the range of conveniences offered to hotel guests, apart from a coffee machine, hotel slippers and a bath tub, may also include eavesdropping and videotaping. Because the necessary equipment is out there and the trained staff too. -/-
The so-called human factor has always been the paramount, but at the same time, it has often turned out to be the most fallible. For instance, in the North Korean capital, the authorities have detected an additional business pursued by their special services. At one hotel just for foreigners, apart from recording any activities hostile to the state authorities, the spec services also videotaped sexual pastimes of the hotel guests. And then sold such videotapes on the black market.
Every hotelier knows that hotel service must be constantly in use, even in the low season, must be constantly in a working order. This is especially true in a Law and Justice state, where “the honest people need not fear” the eavesdropping, though it would be better for them to immediately confess their guilt and agree to cooperate.
Therefore, before you pick up your hotel keys, make sure to check with the hotel reception what kind of eavesdropping service your hotel offers to its guests. Is this a “Law and Justice friendly” facility? Are all room service workers happy with their salaries and do not need to make extra money?
Anyway, just to be on a safe side, pitch a tent, jump in your sleeping bag and turn on the jammers in your hotel room. Otherwise, you may later find your bedtime antics on the web advertised as “National Sex Champion”!
Enjoy your May weekend!
In other media:
- Polityka: How much the PiS government knows about us and what it can do to us. It has the most sensitive, intimate data (August 14, 2023)
- TOK.fm: The Hotel scandal. Why did the deputy Minister of the Interior and Administration order a search of Bartosz Kramek’s room? “He brazenly used the services” (May 26, 2023)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: Bartosz Kramek is seeking an apology and a compensation of PLN 1 million for being invigilated at hotels (May 23, 2023)
- Horeca Business Club: Bugged hotels of the Polish Hotel Holding: Request for a Council of Europe investigation (May 1, 2023)
- Radio Zet: Yet another bugging scandal? ‘Surveillance in hotels, searching for condoms’ (April 28, 2023)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: Poland’s government colluded with state-owned hotel chain to spy on political opponents (April 25, 2023)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: The Hotel Scandal. The Marriott Headquarters: “We are taking all efforts to ensure a warm welcome for everyone” (April 24, 2023)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: The hotel scandal. Threats against the whistleblower (April 22, 2023)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: Bugged hotels discussed in the Sejm. The whistleblower met with opposition MPs (April 21, 2023)
- Trybuna: The room service (April 20, 2023)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: Agnieszka Kublik: Stay alert while in a hotel bathroom! This is not a hitchcock movie, this is Kaczyński’s Poland (April 19, 2023)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: The hotel scandal. After the article published by ‘Wyborcza’, Kramek wants Wąsik and Brudziński prosecuted (April 18, 2023)
- Horeca Business Club: Bugged hotels of the Polish Hotel Holding Group (April 17, 2023)
- Onet: Bugged hotels. This is how special services reportedly spied on the opposition (April 17, 2023)
- Upday: Do Law and Justice party special services snoop on the opposition in hotels? (April 17, 2023)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: Bugged hotel rooms – Law and Justice recidivists spring to action (April 17, 2023)
- Wirtualna Polska: Surveillance of hotel guests? The Polish Hotel Holding responds and denies involvement (April 17, 2023)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: Bugged Hotels. Gazeta Wyborcza Daily reveals how the Law and Justice’s secret services are keeping tabs on the opposition (April 17, 2023)