Web of ‘sextortion’ spreads to PH
MANILA, Philippines – “Sextortion” activities worldwide, including in the Philippines, have become widespread that local and international police are moving to curb if not eliminate them.
“(There is) a growing number of sextortion victims in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, United Kingdom and the United States with potential victims in Australia, Korea and Malaysia,” Director General Alan Purisima, Philippine National Police chief, said in a statement Friday.
Sanjay Virmani, Interpol Director Crime Centre Director, told INQUIRER.net at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame that it appeared that “separate groups were working because obviously, it takes low investment to do this”.
United Kingdom Ambassador Asif Ahmad said in a press briefing that “sextortion does not respect any nationality… this is a serious and growing problem.”
Local and international police officials got together Friday on the invitation of the PNP, which started a crackdown on “sextortion” activities in the country under Operation “Strikeback” on November 2013.
The operation has since netted 58 suspects from Taguig City and the provinces of Laguna, Bulacan and Bicol.
“Sextortion” is a combination of sex and extortion where a suspect blackmails a victim who has been recorded performing sexual acts online, which include posing nude in front of a webcam.
The blackmailer then uses the video or image to extort more sexual favors or money from the victim in exchange for keeping the recording in his possession and not spreading it online.
Other countries involved in the operation against “sextortion” are Hong Kong, Singapore, Scotland, United Kingdom, and Australia.