Cops from Hunan and Cambodia bust sextortion gang

2017-07-18 00:42:02 | From:http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1056756.shtml

Police in Central China's Hunan Province collaborated with their Cambodian counterparts to bust a 74-member Chinese gang that persuaded over 800 people in China to engage in video sex chats and then blackmailed them for cash.

Chinese and Cambodian officers arrested the criminals in cities across Cambodia on July 1 and repatriated them on July 6, after an over four-month investigation, news site thepaper.cn reported Monday.

Police said that the criminals - who extorted people of their money in more than 20 Chinese regions - had a clear distribution of work "like an assembly line."

One group was responsible for choosing targets, reaching out to them on social media platforms, seducing the victims and recording naked chat videos. A second group then used the videos to blackmail the victims into putting money in Chinese bank accounts. A third group would then contact their accomplices in China to withdraw the money and transfer it to overseas accounts.

"The criminals targeted certain groups of people, mostly middle-aged men with good jobs and a decent social status, who are able to afford the amount of money they wanted," said a Hunan police officer.

The police officer noted that the criminals threatened to post online the naked chat screenshots of the victims together with their real names, phone numbers and work places if they refused to give money.

The criminals confessed that in June alone they extorted more than 2.6 million yuan ($383,849), according to thepaper.cn. The report did not reveal the total amount of extortion.

Police said the gang included women who would persuade victims to strip during the video chats, thepaper.cn reported.

Police mentioned that a group of young university graduates were also saved from the criminals, as the young girls, who had already passed the group's interviews, were tricked into the business and were preparing to head to Myanmar.

Internet blackmail has become rampant in recent years. A similar crime occurred in 2016 when a Chinese criminal group threatened young female university students to post their naked photos with their ID information online if they failed to pay back loans.

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