Cops bust major online sexual blackmail ring that targeted victims nationwide

GEORGE TOWN: Fourteen individuals, including three women, were arrested for suspected involvement in an extortion syndicate, specialising in sexual blackmail.

Penang police chief Comm Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said the suspects are aged between 23 and 60, and were detained at several locations in Johor, Perak, Selangor and Penang between Sept 16-19.

"We believed the syndicate had been using social media applications such as WeChat, Facebook, MiChat and others to make sexual video calls, where the acts of victims were recorded without their knowledge," he said at a press conference at the state police headquarters.

Comm Mohd Shuhaily said the video would then be used by the syndicate to extort money from the victims.

He said police had also confiscated 13 mobile phones, eight ATM cards, and one bank account book, adding that investigation found that owners of the bank accounts who received the extorted money were among those detained.

"From January until August this year, state police have received 76 reports and with the arrest of the suspects, we believe we have solved 12 extortion cases in Penang.

"We still have 64 cases under investigation in the state," he said, adding that a total of 27 cases in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Pahang and Johor had been solved by the state police contingent.

Comm Mohd Shuhaily said that police expected to detain more suspects in relation to the case soon.

He said the suspects would be investigated under Section 384 of the Penal Code for extortion.

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