An Instagram user who allegedly blackmailed women for money and sex was arrested in Tripoli, the Internal Security Forces said in a statement Friday.
Lebanese citizen Aa.S., born in 1992, who went by the fake Instagram moniker mouhamad_l_amir, is a second-time offender and had previously been arrested for the same crime, the ISF said.
Instagram, a social media network that prioritizes photos and illustration, is popular among younger Lebanese.
The suspect’s most recent arrest was made near a park in Tripoli, where he had blackmailed one of his victims into meeting him to have sex, the ISF statement said.
According to the statement, Aa.S. had initially coerced his victim into sending nude photographs by threatening to publish “private” conversations they had held on Instagram if she refused. After she complied, he threatened to publish the photos unless she paid him $500, a demand that she rejected.
Aa.S. subsequently said she should meet him at 8 p.m. near the park to have sex – or else he would publish the photos.
But the woman, who had filed a complaint to the ISF’s Anti-Cybercrimes Bureau accusing Aa.S. of defamation and making threats, showed up to the rendezvous with the police, who arrested him.
Aa.S. allegedly admitted to having contacted multiple women on Instagram with the intention of blackmailing them for money and sex. The ISF said it found photos of more than 30 women aged 14 to 24 on his phone.
The ISF said that it is calling other victims to its headquarters in order to initiate legal action.
Cybercrimes are common in Lebanon, prompting the ISF to periodically warn against taking “inappropriate” photos to avoid online exploitation.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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