TIME Crime

58 Nabbed in Philippines Sexual Blackmail Sting

Those arrested are accused of threatening to publicize images of online video-chats if their victims didn’t pay up

Police in the Philippines this week arrested 58 people on suspected involvement in an international sexual blackmail scheme, Interpol said Friday.

In one instance, a Scottish teenager victimized by the crime ring jumped to his death after blackmailers threatened to show his family records of video-chat interactions he’d had online with someone he thought was an American girl his own age if he didn’t pay them. The alleged blackmailers demanded between $500 and $15,000 from their victims, located in places around the world including Indonesia, the Philippines, the U.K., the U.S. and Hong Kong, CNN reports.

“The scale of these sextortion networks is massive, and run with just one goal in mind: to make money regardless of the terrible emotional damage they inflict on their victims,” said Sanjay Virmani, director of Interpol’s Digital Crime Center.


Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team