A South Korean man has been arrested for allegedly blackmailing women to get them to send sexually explicit images and videos of themselves through the Telegram app.
Telegram is a cloud-based instant messaging and voice over IP service that lets users can send messages and exchange photos, videos, stickers, audio and files of any type.
The man, who has been named as 24-year-old Cho Ju-bin, coerced 74 women, 16 of them underage, to send the content, which was then made available to 260,000 subscribers for 1,200 won (80p) each in cryptocurrency.
Cho Ju-Bin was publicly identified in a rare move by police after public outcry and a petition by five million South Koreans demanding his identity be revealed.
Outside the Jongno Police Station in central Seoul, Cho said: “Thank you for ending my unstoppable life as a devil.
“I apologise to those who were hurt because of me,” he added, avoiding the mention of his victims.
Cho has been charged with violating the Child Protection Act, the privacy act and the Sexual Abuse Act. He is also accused of coercion and abusive and threatening behaviour.
The story comes just months after the ‘Burning Sun Scandal’, where several K-pop stars were implicated in a prostitution ring run through the Burning Sun nightclub in the Gangnam district of Seoul, South Korea.
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The country has become a hotbed for cybersex criminals. Data has shown that the number of sex crimes using spy cameras in the country surged from 412 in 2013 to 2,388 in 2018.
In response, President Moon Jae-in pledged to take tougher action against cybersex criminals, as well as changing the misperception that criminals who hide in anonymity will not be caught.
The commissioner-general of the Korean National Police Agency, Min Gap-ryong, said: “Through strict investigation, the police will entirely transform the social apathy to digital sex crime and strongly root out such crime from our society.”