Police will investigate those pictured committing crimes in Facebook nude photo haul

Maldives Police Service today said that further action will be taken against people pictured committing crimes in the files acquired by Facebook blackmailers.

A media officer said police were unable to confirm whether any political figures were be involved in the case while the investigations continued.

Police have arrested 14 persons including a minor – reportedly a 17 year old girl – for alleged involvement in acquiring nude pictures and videos of Maldivians through two profiles that both used the same image of a young blonde woman wearing sunglasses.

The two false profiles – the front for an alleged blackmailing ring that netted incriminating photos of those who signed up – had netted a combined 2500 ‘friends’, most of them Maldivian, making the scope of the blackmail operation potentially massive.

The ring poses a “security risk” for politicians in the Maldives, Deputy Speaker of the People’s Majlis Ahmed Nazim told Minivan News, but was unlikely to lead to parliamentary censorship in the future on how the internet was used.

Nazim, who is also a member of the People’s Alliance (PA) Party, said that police investigations into accusations that two Facebook profiles had been used to acquire “hundreds of nude pictures and videos” of Maldivians were not expected to impact MPs’ social networking.

”While some of the pictures were taken of people while drunk other pictures were taken without the consent of the persons [involved],” police confirmed yesterday, adding that Maldivians across the social spectrum had been affected by the racket.

Nazim said that despite allegations appearing in the media that certain national politicians might themselves have been blackmailed already through some of the content acquired through the profiles, he did not expect a review of how social networking was used by MPs in the future.

“[The investigation] is obviously a very concerning fact, but it is the first time this has happened in the country,” he said. “Almost all MPs have profiles they use to spread messages and communicate with their constituents, which is important. There is nothing that can be done about this.”

Despite raising suspicions that the Facebook profiles may have intentionally targeted specific sections of society like political figures and civil servants, President’s Office Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair claimed that the developments were not a cause of “alarm” for the government.

“No one has provided conclusive evidence that anyone in the government is involved in the case,” he said. “However, it appears that a group of cyber criminals have tried to target a certain group of peoples including MPs and government officials. They have certainly not been going after fishermen.”

Zuhair added that the fact that these files and videos were now out in the open and available for public scrutiny should “make everyone more cautious of their behaviour online”.

“The very fact this has come to light shows that all people should be more careful when using social network sites like Facebook or their webcams,” he added.

Police investigation

Police investigating the case have reported that some people in the Facebook files were allegedly performing explicit acts in the presence of minors, and warned that this “could affect the future and discipline of the minors”.

”The case relates to the rights of many citizens and affects the social policy of the Maldives, and may also affect the safety of the society,” said police.

Information gathered so far had revealed that people from all levels of Maldivian society were affected, “including underage females juveniles, young women, professional and semi-professional persons, and people of both genders working all across the country.”

Police appealed to Maldivians to be more careful approving friendships with strangers on social networks.

”It is notable that underage females are victims in this crime, and that a minor was arrested as a suspect. It is necessary that parents monitor the work of minors when they use internet and social networks,” said police.

Two Facebook profiles identified as being involved in the ring where those belonging to ‘Lyshiaa Limanom’ and ‘Angelic Sharrown’. Both of these profiles show the same picture of a young blonde woman wearing sunglasses, and each profile has between 1200-1300 Facebook ‘friends’ – most of them Maldivian.

Police warned Maldivians to be careful of receiving invitations and messages from these profiles.

Social media adoption in the Maldives is prodigious, particularly Facebook, with almost a third of the country’s population signed up to the service.

According to statistics from Facebook, the Maldives has 89,460 registered users – two thirds of whom are male. Almost half Maldivian Facebook users are aged under 18.

Police late last year identified cyber crimes such as hacking as a major concern for both private and public organizations, leading it to form a special team to try and curb illegal online practices.

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20 thoughts on “Police will investigate those pictured committing crimes in Facebook nude photo haul”

  1. There in nothing wrong with the internet or social networking. It's users who should be a bit more responsible on what they do online.

    Perverts will be Perverts.. Whether Online or Offline..

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  2. Maldivian fishermen are not known for using their poles to chase virtual women. They spend most of the day catching fish and we thank them for that. They are well respected hard working people.

    On the other hand, .... (bucket full of dhivehi swear words)

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  3. heard that the famous blogger Yamin Rasheed is in one of the leaked videos. Is this true?

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  4. No point to mention farmers,fishermen and carpenters.They are well educated and experienced of what they do. The fact is those who are not aware of internet is already naked.

    This will help all Maldivians the risk of it if they are not educated and uncivilized of global net works.Most of those they think they are very smart and well civilized.but they do feel it now.shame on all those craps and prostitutes.Now we know what their professionalism.Shame on all those involved in this dirty crime.

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  5. why does mr zuhair think that fishermen are not worthy of a blackmail attempt for cash? i know several fishermen who earn significantly more than average income...but yes, if you meant the fishermen were avoided because they were less likely to be fooled, i can agree with you mr zuhair...

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  6. way back in the 1990s when Ilya Ibrahim's FPID scandal was accidentally overheard and leaked through a man named Winter shareef the latter was arrested. Today some smart kids outsmarted some sick politicians and businessmen and tried to force them to part with a little bit of their ill-gotten money. And the Maldives Police and Govt is doing all that they can to go after the kids instead of the corrupt and insanely lewd politicians. What has changed in this country?

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  7. seriously anyone who has even spent 2 mins online infront of a webcam with her/his pants down, should seriously get a dildo, either man or women, it serves both. if high profiled idiots are involved in it, we seriously need to leak it out, who ever it is. coz they wont be spending even an hour productively rather be playing with their gonad mates. they should not be given a single cent from the public money, and if the security forces try to hide the fact these loonies are involved, well my friend another 11 Evan Naseems have been killed today under president Mr. Nasheed.

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  8. What a crook this Zuhair guy is, he dont understand Maldives is just because of its fisherman, otherwise from where he get that fat salary and air conditioned room, they work hard to get what these idiots enjoy and have cyber sex.

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  9. as if fishermen are worth nothing! these 'officials' don't deserve to be in offices. porn stars. kekekeke

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  10. Could this be the result of a suppressed society, an escape where people do not have to take the responsibility for their actions, a substitute for unfulfilled and unhappy lives, a loss of trust in one's own people and in the system that is emerging, an erosion of values that comes from disconnectedness, a dependency on television and internet to escape outside without leaving the four walls, unresolved pains and illusions, a confusion of right and wrong, an strong implication that leadership had failed (both within families and at higher levels), the result of broken up and dysfunctional families and and and...........

    Look at it from any angle, blame or no blame...the whole story is flashing red alarming lights...

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  11. Just shows how much the real criminals are protected and favoured. DIVERT you definitely have diverted the point, giving a sorry excuse for politicians to do whatever they do. They are supposed to be the altruistic, individuals who are to help in such situations. What if they are caught with their pants down all the time?

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  12. Lots of these kinds of bad things, crimes, etc are happening all over the maldives. It as only 1 reason and only 1 solution..if u want solution my friends turn to him. Dnt u c its so clear. Belyv in ALLAH his always near. If want u belyv does not impact on wat u behave than wat u belyv is not important..

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  13. all these kinds of crimes now is continiuin maldives ..because of 1 reason and it has 1 solution.. If u want solution my frinds belyv in ALLAH he is always near. If what you believe does not impact on what you behave than what you behave is.nt important

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