UAE: Police save teenager from online blackmailer who threatened to publish her private photos

She had developed a relationship with an anonymous person she had met on an electronic game


Ismail Sebugwaawo

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Published: Thu 20 Oct 2022, 7:24 AM

Last updated: Thu 20 Oct 2022, 2:20 PM

Abu Dhabi authorities have handled the case of a teenage girl who was blackmailed by an unknown person she met online.

According to Lt. Col. Ahmed Mubarak Al Qubaisi, head of the Child Crimes Department at Abu Dhabi Police's Criminal Investigations Department, the unknown person threatened to publish the girl's private photos on social media if she didn't send him money.

The officer said that the teenager had befriended the predator, who lives outside the UAE, through an electronic game she was playing. Their relationship progressed, and the pair began exchanging photos and videos on social media. The man later threatened to post them online if she didn't send him money. She then reported the matter to police, and the team acted immediately to save her before she sent him the money.

"The full responsibility rests with parents to provide protection for their children, and to pay attention to the electronic games they play," said Al Qubaisi.

"Parents should keep a close eye on their children's internet use to prevent them falling victim to the scam."

Abu Dhabi Police recently said that through its "Our country is a trust" program, it has responded to several cases and reports of online crimes against children and adolescents.

Al Qubaisi noted that online predators usually monitor children and teenagers' activity on electronic games and various social media sites, including Snapchat and Instagram.

Authorities have always warned that these online predators encourage vulnerable teenagers to share explicit pictures of themselves on social media before blackmailing them. They also warn that young women are the most vulnerable to online blackmail, as they fall victim to cyber criminals due to fear.

According to authorities, some of the victims of such blackmail are reluctant to report the criminals to the authorities as they are scared they would face charges for committing wrongful acts. This sometimes leads to the blackmailers assaulting the victims or extorting money from them.

People have been advised to report online criminals to authorities, including police and other security bodies so that they can be arrested and punished.

Abu Dhabi Judicial Department had introduced an app, 'Inform the Prosecution', which receives complaints from the public so that confidentiality is kept intact.

Officials earlier pointed out that the growing use of modern technology among more and more people has led to an increase in cybercrimes as youngsters spend hours together on social media - sometimes unsupervised - which makes them an easy target for criminals.

According to the UAE online law, people found guilty of blackmail face two years in jail and a fine between Dh250,000 and Dh500,000.



More news from