Crime

Police bust ring operating pornographic website at Osino

The Administrator and Director of Empressleak website has been arrested at Osino in the Eastern Region by the police for allegedly uploading nude videos and photographs of victims.

Anderson Ofosuhene Anim, 39, also known as ‘Mario Gee’ is reported to have been operating the website for the past five years.

Other accomplices who were said to scout for videos and images for the suspect and later share the ransoms are been sought for by the police.

The Director-General of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Commissioner of Police (COP) Isaac Ken Yeboah, who disclosed this at a press conference in Accra yesterday, said that Anim has  since been arraigned before an Accra Circuit Court and remanded till August 19,2020.

Present at the conference were the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Director of the Cyber Crime Unit of the CID, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Gustav Herbert Yankson, child protection specialists representatives from the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection.

COP Yeboah said the Cyber Unit of the CID in collaboration with the National Cyber Security Center mounted an operation and arrested the suspect after six months investigation at Osino.

He said Anim was arrested uploading nude pictures and videos on the website www.empreeleak.biz and all digital devices used in the commission of the crime have been retrieved and would be subjected to forensic examination.

The Director-General said Empressleak website allows the public to post nude pictures and videos on their website and demand for ransom ranging from  GH¢500 to GH¢ 2000 through mobile money before they are removed.

COP Yeboah said on the average victims loose GH¢420,000 to perpetrators of this crime annually through ransoms paid to stop them from having their pictures and videos published.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said investigations by the Ministry revealed that the site was in USA and would contact the authorities there to shut it down.

She said an investigation to clamp down on the activities of the website was launched after a female Senior High School student filed a report in January this year with the Computer Emergency Response Team of the National Cyber Security Centre.

She said sextortion and distribution of sexual images of individuals were gradually becoming a canker in Ghanaian Cyber space.

“Out of the total 296 cases received by the National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) between January 1 to June 30,2020,27 per cent of the cases representing a total of 79 are related to either sextortion, non consensual sharing intimate images or child online abuse,” she added.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said a draft bill which seeks to reduce cybercrime had been submitted to parliament awaiting approval by the end of the year.

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