Ghazni provincial police chief Aminullah Amarkhil said on Sunday they have arrested a syndicated suspected of blackmailing people in Ghanzi.
According to police, the group would strike up a friendship with innocent victims, including young boys, and once they had gained their trust they then got the victims to pose naked for photographs or videos.
The gang then threatens to make the photos or videos public unless the victim pays them money.
Amarkhil said the gang used hidden cameras and were well equipped to film their victims.
“They have nice houses and a set of their furniture costs thousands of dollars. They have built special rooms in which hidden cameras are positioned. They took pictures of cute boys, traders and other victims and then asked them to pay them money. Even some people have paid them more than $100,000 USD,” he said.
According to him, such groups first establish a friendship with victims through social media. They then persuaded them to pose naked for photos or videos. Once they have taken the images or videos, they then demand money from the victim. They threaten to release the photos or videos to the victim’s family and the public.
According to one of the suspected blackmailers, he has been involved in the scam for about a year.
“I had brought naked films from Lahore. Also it is about one year that I have recorded such films in Afghanistan,” said the suspect.
Residents of Ghazni have welcomed the arrests.
“We are very happy that the group has been arrested,” said Mohammad Dawod, a resident of Ghazni.
“Such people that do illegal activities should be stopped and we are happy that police have arrested them,” said Barat Ali, another resident of Ghazni.
Lawyers meanwhile said judicial departments should take serious action against such activities.
“The judicial departments should take the issue seriously. If such groups expand their activities, many families and youths will face problems in the country,” said Tawab Danish, a member of Afghanistan’s Lawyer Union (ALU).