Cyber blackmail cases in Ajman double since last year

Ajman Police said the number of cases of cyber blackmail has more than doubled since last year in the emirate.

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AJMAN // The number of cyber blackmail cases has more than doubled since last year, Ajman Police say.

“The number reported in 2013 was four. In 2014, it was six compared to 17 cases in 2015,” said Lt Col Raeed Obaid El Zaaby, Ajman city centre police station director.

He said these types of digital crimes can be committed against individuals, companies and governments and often involve financial gain, sexual exploitation and defamation.

“According to the statistics and number of cases registered, the types of offenders are under 25 and they are mostly blackmailing, especially exploiting girls. The second category [of offender] is the expatriate, whether in the UAE or abroad, and their aim is getting money,” he said.

“The local blackmailers target women and men randomly for money or illicit relationships, while the international ones target VIPs and businessmen to rapidly gain money.”

Mr El Zaaby said people should not put themselves at risk on social media.

Salem Khalifa Al Ghafli, prosecutor for Ajman traffic prosecution, explained the punishments for blackmailers laid out in Federal Law No 5 of 2012.

One can be jail for a maximum of two years and a fine no less than Dh250,000 and not in excess of Dh500,000, or either of the two.

“The punishment is imprisonment up to 10 years if the subject [commits] a felony or engages in matters against honour or morals,” Mr Al Ghafli said.