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Man charged over Facebook catfish scam

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Police hold a press conference after arresting the accused. National Police

Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Saturday charged a man who created fake Facebook accounts to pose as a woman and extort money from men who fell for the girls and swapped nude photos with them.

Sok Bunly, a court clerk, yesterday identified the accused as Chan Boreth, 22, a jobless man living in Tuol Kork district.

He noted that the accused was arrested on Tuesday by anti-cybercrime department police and is charged with fraud and also threats accompanied by extortion. Mr Boreth faces up to three years in jail if convicted and is now in prison pending trial.

Major Ly Sopheak, an anti-cybercrime department police officer at the Interior Ministry, said that in early January the accused created several Facebook accounts, posing as girls and using photos of pretty women in the profiles.

Maj Sopheak noted that the accused’s accounts went by handles such as Mai Davika Love, Ny Ny and Phka Sbai Roeung.

He said Mr Boreth used these accounts to lure men to fall for the fake women.

Maj Sopheak said that after becoming friends, the accused would post nude photos or sex clips of the women he was posing as and ask the men to do the same.

“After the victims sent him the nude photos, the accused stored them on his phone,” he noted. “He kept the photos in order to extort money from them.”

Maj Sopheak said that in July, the accused used the account Phka Sbai Roeung to lure a 49-year-old businessman. He noted that they chatted with each other on Facebook messenger and became friends.

Maj Sopheak said that the accused then sent fake nude photos and sex clips to the businessman, who in turn sent nude photos of himself.

He added that on September 5, the accused chatted with the victim and threatened to post his nude photos on Facebook.

Maj Sopheak said the accused demanded $1,000 from the victim in exchange for not posting the photos.

“After negotiation, the victim agreed to pay $500 and transferred the money to the accused by Wing the same day,” he said. “But on November 4 the accused again threatened to post the photos and demanded $1,000.”

Maj Sopheak said that the victim on November 6 filed a complaint at the ministry’s anti-cybercrime department, which began tracing the owner of the Facebook account Phka Sbai Roeung.

He noted that anti-cybercrime police tracked Mr Boreth down and arrested him at his house in Boeng Kak II commune on Tuesday.

Maj Sopheak said that during his interrogation, the accused admitted committing the offence and said that he had tricked 493 male Facebook users into sending their nude photos or sex clips.

He added that Mr Boreth also confessed that he had extorted money from nine men who paid him between $500 and $1,000 in exchange for not posting their photos.

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