The National Police has arrested the 23 members of a criminal organization dedicated, allegedly, to committing extortion crimes through sexual contacts on the web. The victims received threats if they did not pay large amounts of money. The operation, developed in Valencia and Teruel, has allowed to dismantle a network that reached more than 100,000 euros, clarifying 80 interposed complaints, some of them in the provinces of Huesca and Zaragoza. Four of those arrested have already entered prison.
The first complaints were lodged in the month of February 2018. The complainants indicated that they had contacted girls through certain advertisements published on contact websites, being tricked into continuing conversations by another telephone and thus arranging an appointment.
Subsequently, the victim began to receive phone calls or messages that demanded money for the time he had been talking to the girl about the instant messaging application. If the meeting between both came to occur, a new payment was requested indicating that it was an extra cost for the services performed.
Threats to family members
To persuade them, the authors threatened to come to see him in person or to inform his family of the use of web pages to contract various sexual services. On occasion, they intimidated by assuring that they would execute some kind of injury both to the victim and to their closest relatives, whose data they obtained through social engineering.
The organization took advantage of the pressure placed on the victim by the possibility of her family knowing about the use of these pages of a sexual nature and prostitution services.
In order to increase the pressure on the victim, the profiles of WhatsApp used images of people of strong constitution and, to make identification difficult, they used telephony cards registered with false identities. The messages that the victims received contained phrases such as: “I’m going to be forced to go for you”, “you’re going to pay one way or another”, “it hurts me that I’m going to have to fuck your family because of you” or “if you follow my steps, if you do not want your wife or anyone to find out: six hundred euros”.
For this reason, the victims made large disbursements of money in various bank accounts. Payments made in the accounts that the organization controlled, the money was extracted by people who took a commission to register the accounts in their name and to make the extractions. Next, they gave the money to another member of the organization so that it could reach the superiors of the organization.
The police identified the victims and account holders
After various arrangements, the agents obtained the filiations of both the victims and the holders of the aforementioned accounts and identified those persons who, without being bank account holders, carried out operations to extract the money obtained.
Once all the information obtained was analyzed, the agents set up the corresponding operative device and arrested 19 people belonging to the criminal network in Valencia. Later, four others were arrested in Teruel and Valencia. The police officers made two searches in the city of Valencia where they located a multitude of documentation related to the events.
In addition to Huesca and Zaragoza, the operation has allowed to resolve complaints in 22 more provinces -Albacete, Alicante, Ávila, Barcelona, Burgos, Castellón, Ciudad Real, Córdoba, Elche, Badajoz, Huelva, Logroño, Lugo, Madrid, Malaga, Murcia, Ibiza, Salamanca, Santander, Valencia, Valladolid and Zamora.