The Lahore Anti Cyber Crime Cell of the Federal Investigations Agency has arrested a suspect, deported from Greece, for attempting to force a woman into marriage through blackmailing.
A victim, M*, had registered a complaint with the cell. She had befriended a person named Naseer Shah at social media. After some time, he proposed marriage and she refused. “Upon rejection, he tampered with my pictures and started blackmailing me,” she alleged.
The anti-cyber harassment cell started investigations into the matter. It was learnt that the suspect was returning Pakistan and he was nabbed by the cell the moment he set foot in the country.
During investigations, he confessed to extorting Rs0.3 million from M.
“Later, she turned down my marriage proposal,” the investigators quoted him as saying. He also stated that he had appeared before Greek authorities for deportation. He told investigators that he had illegally travelled to Greek a year ago. The cell also recovered questionable pictures and videos from his custody and recorded his statement.
Anti-Cyber Crime Cell Lahore In charge Muhammad Usman told The Express Tribune that the suspect was arrested three days ago and was on physical remand with the FIA. He said the matter was being probed further, keeping all potential aspects in mind.
This is not the first incident of such an attempt to blackmail. In December 2018, the cell arrested a Karachi man for a similar offense. The victim Z*, a resident of Baghbanpura, alleged that Arif was blackmailing her on the pretext of establishing a friendship.
She added that he threatened to upload inappropriate videos and photos of her if she did not accept his marriage proposal. The authorities asked the victim to contact the suspect and lure him to Lahore with the promise of marriage. Upon his arrival to the Lahore Railway Station, the FIA arrested the accused. The suspect also brought along his family members to Lahore who were sent back to Karachi after interrogation.
In April last year, the cell had arrested a suspect identified as Mehar Imtiaz Ali from his hideout in Sabzazar. The victim in this case, a young woman in her mid-twenties, had befriended Ali online. After developing intimacy and trust, the victim shared a few of her pictures with the accused. Using the pictures, he started blackmailing her.
In March 2018, the FIA had arrested a man from Qurtaba Chowk for harassing and blackmailing a girl in a similar fashion. The man in question was able to acquire private pictures of the girl after her friend had sent their mobile phone to be repaired at the shop where he was working. He demanded a large sum of money from the victim and threatened to make the material go viral if she failed to do so.
Harassment is so rampant that the FIA had to revamp and update its anti-cybercrime wing. The magnitude of the situation can be gauged from the fact that last year, during a seminar, a deputy director of the FIA revealed that the authority received at least 4,000 complaints in seven months.
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