South China Morning Post, 4 May 2014
Police have arrested 58 people in the Philippines for their alleged involvement in a global internet “sextortion” racket that snared countless victims - including more than 600 Hongkongers - in the past 18 months.
Officers working in conjunction with the Hong Kong police, Interpol and US authorities raided premises across northern parts of the country and cracked three syndicates known to be targeting overseas victims.
According to Philippine National Police Chief Alan Purisima, the syndicates had created provocative, alluring and entirely fictitious social media accounts to entice unwitting victims into live cybersex activities. The criminal groups would then secretly record the footage, before threatening to expose the victims to their friends and families unless they handed over between US$500 and US$2,000.
Sanjay Virmani, director the Interpol Digital Crime Centre based in Singapore, said the victims were from Asia, Europe and the United States.
In Scotland, one teenage victim committed suicide last year after being blackmailed by the syndicate. Full story