Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested three suspects in Lahore for playing the Blue Whale game on October 18 following a tip-off from abroad.
The FIA apprehended the suspects on the directives of Ministry of Interior.
In what is considered as first detention in Pakistan of Blue Whale suicidal game, the arrests were made following a request by Interpol in which it shared information with the government of Pakistan and requested action.
The suspects confessed that they played the Blue Whale game and also kidnapped a youth following the game instructions. Taking a lead from the Blue Whale game the suspects tied the hands and feet of the kidnapped youth, taped his mouth and released their video on a social networking site, according to a report published in The News.
A manhunt is currently underway for two other accomplices of the arrested suspects.
Meanwhile, the authorities have also tracked down a 14-year-old boy in Lahore engaged in the dangerous suicide game, Blue Whale Challenge, according to the Punjab FIA Cyber Crime Department. The team visited two locations in Gulshan-e-Ravi and Johar Town in Lahore but did not find the teenager there.
However, it was not clear whether the teenager was playing the game or involved in it in some other way. It only said “content related to [a] kidnapping clip/video in Snapchat” was found on the cell phone being used by the boy.
The FIA became active after Interpol Washington informed the Interpol National Central Bureau for Pakistan that it had detected activity related to the suicide game in the country, the statement said.
FIA Cyber Crime Lahore Deputy Director Syed Shahid Hassan has formed a team comprising Assistant Director Mohammad Usman Sub-Inspector Ashir Aroon, Assistant Sub-Inspector Hafiz Zubair and Constable Tanvir to probe into the matter.
Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has issued a warning for people to keep an eye out for vulnerable young people getting attracted to the Blue Whale challenge.
Although no suicides linked to the Blue Whale challenge have been reported in Pakistan, several cases have been reported.
Earlier this month, two girl students in Pakistan were expelled from college after they were discovered playing the dangerous Blue Whale challenge. One of the two girls had reached level 18 of the game, while the other was playing level 22. Both had made carvings on their arms using a sharp-edged tool. The girls were students of grade 11 and 12 at Government Girls Degree College Pind Dadan Khan in Jhelum.
In Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a girl was also found allegedly playing the same game. She was admitted to Peshawar’s Khyber Teaching Hospital, where she was kept at psychiatric ward and had symptoms of depression, according to Assistant Registrar Dr Azaz. She was discharged after therapy and necessary treatment.
The Blue Whale game is an online 50-day challenge in which the players have to perform a set of tasks. As the game progresses the tasks become more vicious. Some of the tasks were reported to be carving a whale on your arm, watching horror videos, cutting your lip and ultimately pushing people to the edge of suicide. The game originated in Russia back in 2013 and Philip Budekin, a 21 year old Russian, is the alleged mastermind behind it.
The game has claimed some 150 lives globally with deaths of teenagers reported in Russia, India, China, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Argentina, Bulgaria and Italy.