Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday ordered the CID to launch a probe into an organized gang which is alleged to be earning millions of rupees in hush money through a Facebook scam whereby nude photographs and videos of selected men have been taken prior to them being threatened with 'exposure' on Facebook if the demanded sum was not paid.
The head of the computer division of the CID, Chief Inspector S.K. Senaratne told Court that the police probe into this racket had begun after it came to light that an Army Officer had paid a sum of Rs 210,000 as hush money.
The Army Officer had received a Facebook invitation from a 'Friend' on Facebook and the unsuspecting Army Officer had continued to chat with the person who had posed off as a woman.
By and by they had continued to forge a close relationship through their respective Facebook accounts until the woman had one day asked him for nude photographs and videos of himself..
Afterwards the complainant had trusted the person with whom he had continued to chat on his Facebook account and had sent nude photos and videos of himself through the Whatsapp facility on his cell phone.
The CID then informed Court that the complainant had been threatened with exposure of his nude photos and videos and yielded to the demand of depositing Rs 210,000 at various stages.
Following extensive inquiries the CID had then uncovered an organized gang been responsible for the blackmail whereby unsuspecting males have been threatened with the exposure of nude photos and videos on Facebook, if they fail to deposit the demanded ransom money.
The CID was then ordered by Chief Magistrate Pilapitiya to continue with its investigations especially seeking details of money thus deposited by other clients and also to seek further details from ATM machines and through CCTV footage etc.