Suicide: Nigerians Arrested Over Alleged Sextortion

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In Nigeria, two persons have been arrested over an alleged sextortion attempt against an Australian schoolboy who committed suicide.

The Australian police say the teenage victim had traded explicit images with someone online before they began making threats and demanding money.

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The arrested pair who were allegedly responsible for the threats and money extortion were traced down to Nigeria, after a global investigation. They will face trial in court.

Police say sextortion – particularly of young people – is dramatically rising.

Details of the boy’s age or where he lived in New South Wales (NSW) have not been released publicly to protect his family’s privacy.

New South Wales Police described the alleged extortionists as “young males” and said they had threatened to send photos to the teenager’s friends and family if he did not pay them A$500 (£260; $330).

“The messages are horrific. They’re aggressive and put a lot of pressure on the boy to pay the money,” the police force’s cyber-crime commander, Matthew Craft, told the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH).

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The boy died by suicide on the same evening, late last year.

Australian detectives worked with their counterparts in South Africa and Nigeria to trace the suspected perpetrators to a slum in Nigeria with a population of over 25 million people.

Evidence that the pair had also tried to extort other people was found on their phones, according to the SMH. They have been charged over the alleged extortion of the Australian boy, but not his death.

There have been several cases in Canada and the US in recent years of teenagers who have killed themselves after being targeted by sextortion plots.

Det Supt Craft said his team had seen a “huge spike” in sextortion cases and has appealed for anyone targeted to contact police.

“[They] are up nearly 400% in the last 18 months,” he said in a statement.

“We want young people to continue to report these cases, and to never be embarrassed to talk to police.

“Sextortion is a very real crime… These arrests in Nigeria show just how far police are willing to go to seek justice on behalf of our young community.”

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