Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Hamza M Sengendo, Staff Reporter
A university student who coaxed 200 private photos from 10 children using Fortnite game is under lock and key, said a Dubai Police officer on Wednesday.
The defendant, 25, hunted his prey through Fortnite online multiplayer video game. He had so far targeted ten children when police intervened, said the Dubai Police Criminal Investigations Department’s Director.
Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf said, “He would seduce them with money in exchange for sending him private photos. Dubai Police “e-Crime” reached him in record time and found him in possession of 200 photos.”
Al Jallaf explained that police investigators discovered he used chat rooms in the game to communicate with children and entice them with money to increase their points and credits and compete more and more.
He was in the habit of asking them to send him indecent photos and was planning to use the photos to force them meet his desires. More than 10 children between the ages of 9 and 10 were saved from extortion.
“Police intervened to prevent him from carrying out his sickening plan.” His family members were shocked to learn about it, especially as they thought studies were the reason behind his isolation in his room for long hours. This came after a child told his mother that someone in the game’s chat room offered him money in exchange for sending private photos of him. The mother immediately filed a complaint via the police “e-Crime” platform.
The platform reached the defendant in record time and found in his possession photos of more than 10 children he was planning to extort and harass.
Al Jallaf warned of the dangers of lack of censorship, dialogue and awareness, saying, “Some children have become easy prey for morally corrupt persons whose methods evolve with the development of communication techniques.
“Child abusers now hunt victims more quickly and easily than ever before making use of social media and open space electronic games.”
Children and adolescents are the weakest group in this episode because of their incomplete awareness and lack of experience in addition to their impulsiveness and curiosity to experience, interact and befriend strangers.
The situation worsens when the home atmosphere is psychologically uncomfortable for the child, or when the child is beaten or taunted by parents and tends to keep quiet about the extortion, harassment and bullying for fear of punishment.
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