Porn scammer nabbed following teen's suicide

Porn scammer nabbed following teen's suicide

A call centre operator has been arrested for allegedly blackmailing young girls using photos he screen captured of them when they were nude or wearing cosplay outfits.

One of his suspected victims committed suicide.

Police from the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division (ATPD) and other state officials yesterday executed a search warrant issued by the Pathum Thani provincial court at a house in tambon Khu Khot of Lam Luk Ka district and arrested Piyabutr Urai-ngam, 27.

He is suspected of using social media platforms to reap profits from child pornography.

The police team, led by ATPD commander Pol Maj Gen Wiwat Khamchamnarn, found many files containing nude photos and clips of girls in a notebook computer and on a mobile phone seized from Mr Piyabutr. He was being held for questioning.

The arrest came after a police officer sought help from Pol Maj Gen Charoonkiat Pankaew, commander of the police Anti-Corruption Division (ACD). His daughter, aged 14, had fallen victim to a social media user who used a fake account on the Discord app and a fake Twitter account to approach her.

She was lured into sending him naked photos of herself in exchange for money.

The account holder used them to blackmail her, ordering her to make video calls with him and follow his lewd instructions. If she refused, he threatened to go public with her nude photos. The girl became so distressed that she hanged herself, her father said.

ACD investigators worked closely with officers from the ATPD and the Technology Crime Suppression in tracking down the man responsible. This led them to Mr Piyabutr, who worked as a call centre operator for a communications firm, Pol Maj Gen Wiwat said.

During initial questioning, Mr Piyabutr admitted he kept video clips of girls on his phone, saying he liked collecting photos of girls wearing cosplay outfits. He denied intimidating or blackmailing any girls.

Police pressed charges of possession of child pornography for sexual and commercial purposes in violation of Section 287/1 of the Criminal Code and the Computer Crime Act.

A source claimed the suspect's computer contained many pornographic videos of girls aged below 15 years. Police checked conversations in various apps on his phone and found evidence to back up accusations that he drove one victim to take her own life, the source said.

Pol Maj Gen Wiwat said there was evidence suggesting the suspect had committed similar offences against at least 10 girls younger than 15 years of age.



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