Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz has said police have received reports that people are being solicited for cybersex over social media and blackmailed with compromising pictures and videos.
Commissioner Riyaz confirmed the investigation to local newspaper Haveeru but declined to provide details. A police media official likewise declined to provide any information beyond confirming the investigation was underway, or whether any arrests had been made.
Police investigated a similar case in February 2011, leading to the arrest of 14 people. Police concluded the investigation and sent it to the Prosecutor General’s Office, but the case was never sent to court.
At the time, police revealed the 14 individuals, including a minor, had been arrested on suspicion of obtaining hundreds of nude pictures and videos stored on computers and external hard drives. It was alleged that these images had been obtained through inviting Maldivians to befriend fake Facebook profiles with the image of a young blond woman, and soliciting them for cybersex.
Police said at the time that two profiles with the names of ‘Lyshiaa Limanom’ and ‘Angelic Sharrown’ were used by the suspects to gather compromising pictures and videos of victims performing explicit acts, in some cases in the presence of minors. Investigators stated that they would also be investigating these people people for committing crimes.