Suspected Facebook harasser hands himself in after manhunt

A man alleged to have posted nude pictures of women on his Facebook profile has handed himself to the police after a manhunt was declared.

Mohamed Ibrahim, 25 years, of Haa Dhaal atoll Kulhudhuffushi Island is also accused of posting profane comments and defaming government offices on his Facebook profile.

The police publicized Ibrahim’s details after he refused to cooperate with an investigation. When the police called him on the telephone, Ibrahim refused to give his current address.

The police then sought an arrest warrant from the Kulhudhuffushi Magistrate Court and declared a manhunt.

Ibrahim handed himself to the police last night.

The police declined to reveal details of how many women were affected and which government bodies had been defamed.

“We take these type of cases very seriously,” a police media official told Minivan News.

Speaking to Minivan News on Wednesday, the police said they lacked resources in tracking those behind cyber harassment, but said they would take action if there were any credible evidence of the identities of those involved.

In 2011, the police arrested 14 individuals including a minor for alleged involvement in blackmailing people after acquiring nude pictures and videos of them through Facebook.

Police discovered “hundreds of nude pictures and videos of Maldivians” in the laptops and external hard drives of those arrested.

“While some of the pictures were taken of people while drunk, other pictures were taken without the consent of the persons,” the police said.

In 2012, the Maldives Police Services set up a cyber crime department, but have called for a law to facilitate investigations of cyber crimes.

Cyber harassment and threats of violence has become common in the Maldives. Individuals who have received cyber threats of violence have been physically attacked.

The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives has urged the public to report online harassment or threats of violence.