Man arrested for sextortion

Man arrested for sextortion
September 29 09:30 2015

A 31-year-old Maldivian man was arrested on Monday for attempting to extort sexual favours by blackmailing a woman. He had claimed to possess nude photographs of her.

The complaint was filed on September 23.

He was arrested on Monday from a guesthouse in Malé, the police said.

Sextortion, or blackmailing women and children for sexual favors, is common in the Maldives.

In July, some 15 people including a woman were arrested in the southern Fuvahmulah island for blackmailing two girls into prostitution. The two girls, a 16-year-old and a 14-year-old were tricked into using drugs and filmed naked. The men had forced the girls into prostitution by threatening to leak the videos, according to local media reports.

In 2014, a man was arrested for posting nude pictures of Maldivian women online. Cyber harassment of women is also common in the Maldives.

In 2011, some 14 people were arrested on charges of blackmailing dozens of people through Facebook. A profile featuring an attractive blonde woman in sunglasses were reportedly used to extract explicit photos and videos from those who befriended her.

A policeman was arrested in 2011 on a charge of blackmailing a woman in a northern island by doctoring a nude photo.

In 2013, Ahmed Faiz, a government official, was arrested on charges of possessing a pornographic video of a senior state official and for attempting to extort large sums of money by blackmailing the victim and attempting to sell the video.

The senior state official in the video is thought to be Supreme Court Judge Ali Hameed. The video was leaked online, but police have closed the investigation against Hameed citing insufficient evidence.

The judicial watchdog failed to take action at the time, and Hameed now chairs the commission.

Alhan Fahmy, a former opposition MP, was also questioned in 2013 over a charge of blackmailing Judge Hameed.

Additional writing by Zaheena Rasheed