Senior citizen among 14 nabbed for threatening to spread nude photos, extort RM306,101

29 Sep 2022 04:20pm
 Shuhaily showed pictures of the suspects at a press conference on Thursday.
Shuhaily showed pictures of the suspects at a press conference on Thursday.

GEORGETOWN - A total of 14 individuals including one senior citizen were arrested to assist with the investigation into extortion cases involving the spread of nude videos through social media which costs losses up to RM306,101.

The 10 men and four women were detained in a special operation by the Anti-Vice, Gambling and Secret Societies Division (D7) of the Penang Criminal Investigation Department which was conducted from Sept 16 to 19.

Penang Police Chief Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said all arrested were between the ages of 23 to 60.

They were detained in series of operations around Johor, Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

He said the arrests were made after police suspected all of them were involved with a syndicate that threatened to spread the victim’s nude videos via social media.

"The investigation found that all the individuals detained were the owners of the accounts used by the syndicate.

“The investigation found that the modus operandi was to allow their bank accounts to be used by the syndicate.

"The fraudulent money will be deposited by the victim to their accounts before being transferred to an account belonging to the syndicate member," he said at a press conference at the Penang Contingent Police Headquarters (IPK) here today.

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He said the review found those arrested had past criminal records involving a range of criminal and drug offences.

"We confiscated 13 mobile phones of various brands, eight ATM cards and a bank book," he said.

Shuhaily said during the period of January to August, a total of 76 police reports were lodged throughout Penang involving extortion syndicates.

"With the arrest of these 14 suspects, we believe we have successfully solved 12 cases in Penang while 27 cases each in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Pahang and Sarawak.

"The syndicate’s modus operandi is to trap victims who surf social sites by offering sex services.

"They will use a number of apps including Wechat, Facebook, Whatsapp, Michat and Line to invite victims to make video calls and trick the victim into displaying an obscene act to be recorded without the victim noticing," he said.

He added that the highest loss recorded in the state was RM69,000 involving a report in Queensbay, Bayan Baru.

"Among the victims' jobs are civil servants, private workers and some were unemployed while the suspects' jobs include private workers, housewives, students and unemployed.

“The arrest is expected to increase as operations are carried out continuously.

"The case is investigated in accordance with Section 384 of the Penal Code for committing extortion, Section 385 of the Penal Code for causing a person a fear of disaster with the intention of extortion and Section 424 of the Penal Code for moving or concealing property dishonestly or fraudulently.

"The case is also being investigated in accordance with Section 29(1) of the Minor Offences Act 1955 for not being able to give a satisfactory explanation," he said.