KOTA KINABALU: An 18-year-old youth was arrested by police in Taiping for allegedly threatening to circulate semi-naked pictures of a 15-year-old girl on Instagram.
Beaufort police chief Deputy Supt Azmir Abd Razak said Sunday (April 7) that the suspect had befriended the Form Four student through Instagram last month by claiming that he was an agent searching for models.
DSP Azmir said the suspect lured the girl into sending semi-nude pictures of herself for clothing sizes after he made her fill a form for the modelling job.
However, DSP Azmir said the girl only sent semi-nude photos of herself but the suspect insisted he needed nude pictures.
The student from Sabah's south-western Beaufort, however, became suspicious when the suspect continued to pressure her to send fully naked photos of herself.
She stopped communicating with him on Instagram.
The alleged chats between the student from Kuala Penyu and the suspect is believed to have taken place from March 10 to 31.
Subsequently, she received a WhatsApp message from a user named "Harith", who claimed he had received her semi-nude photos from the suspect.
DSP Azmir said Harith demanded RM500 from the girl to stop her pictures from being spread on social media.
DSP Azmir said the girl suspected that both Harith and the suspect were the same person and immediately lodged a police report on April 5.
Subsequent investigations led to the suspect being arrested in Taiping by Perak police on Sunday.
He has been remanded for six days for further investigations.
Police are also trying to determine if the suspect was involved in similar blackmail cases of victims in other states.
Police are carrying out the investigations under Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017.