An Egyptian youth receives 7-year prison term for blackmailing, threatening girls 12 girls online. File Photo
The accused reportedly blackmailed 12 girls from Assiut, Alexandria, Cairo and Giza by sending them sexually explicit messages through WhatsApp and Facebook.
Moreover, he harassed them, demanding to have illicit relationships with them with the intent of obtaining sexual benefit.
The investigations began after the General Department of Information Technology at the Ministry of Interior received several reports from girls who claimed they had been blackmailed by a person through WhatsApp and Facebook, who threatened them with fabricated pictures of themselves on bodies of naked women.
The technical investigations conducted by the department found that the phone numbers and Facebook account responsible for the blackmail attempts belonged to the accused, “Ahmed H.M,” a resident of Abnoub city in Assiut.
Egypt’s penal code criminalises extortion, threats and violation of private life. In addition, Egypt’s data protection law criminalises these crimes on the internet.
In 2018 the anti-cyber and information technology crimes law was amended, allowing a blackmailer who hacks the private information of any person to be imprisoned for not less than two years and not more than five years instead of six months in jail and/or a fine not less than EGP 50,000 and not more than EGP 100,00.
How to report blackmailing and online harassment?
People who have been subjected to blackmail can reach out to the Internet Investigation Department by calling hotline number 108 from a mobile or landline phone.
Another option is to go to the nearest police station or security directorate and submit a regular report to the department.
People who have been subjected to blackmail can also report the crime to the Department of Combatting Computer Crimes and Information Networks at the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior in New Cairo.
Egyptian penal code regarding crimes committed through the internet stipulates that a report must be submitted within 90 days (three months) of the occurrence of the crime.