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Police Charge 2 Nigerians with Sextortion Offences after Australian Boy Commits Suicide

Sextortion

Police have charged two men in Nigeria after an alleged sextortion scam over $500 led an Australian schoolboy to take his own life.

The boy had been engaging online with an unknown person who threatened to share personal photos of him with his family and friends if he did not pay $500.

He is believed to have taken his own life in 2023 as a result of the threats.

Police investigated the matter before it was referred to the NSW State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad, which traced the alleged perpetrators to Nigeria before requesting help from the Australian Federal Police.

As a result of the AFP-led investigation, working alongside South African and Nigerian authorities, two Nigerian men were arrested and charged with sextortion offences in March.

The men were found in a slum in Nigeria with a population of 25 million people, NSW Police said in a statement on Monday.

The men will be dealt with locally, where authorities can prosecute for Australia-based offences.

Detective Superintendent Matthew Craft, commander of NSW State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad, said the message to young people was that they don’t need to suffer in silence.

“We’ve seen a huge spike in sextortion cases, which are up nearly 400 per cent in the last 18 months,” he said.

“But the good news is people are reporting it and there are steps we can take to help you before it goes too far.

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

Det Spt Craft said the arrests in Nigeria showed just how far police were willing to go to seek justice.

AFP Commander Helen Schneider commended the work of investigators, saying the arrests showed what could be achieved when law enforcement worked together to fight a global problem.

“The sextortion of children is a borderless crime, as these arrests show,” Commander Schneider said.

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