Dubai: Dubai Police nabbed 20 gangs who blackmailed numerous victims through dating apps and social media platforms, police announced on Wednesday.
Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf, Director of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Dubai Police, said that 47 members of the 20 gangs from an African country, conducted online scams and blackmailed victims through dating applications.
They used to create accounts with pictures of women to lure the victim to a woman.
“When the victim goes to the address of the girl, he will be surprised that she isn’t like the one in the picture. Later, the gang members steal the victim’s belongings like mobile phones, money and credit cards and take indecent pictures to the victim to threaten him not to report the incident to police,” Brig Al Jallaf said in statement.
The gangs used to rent an apartment with fake documents and withdraw the victims’ money through their credit cards before releasing the victims and threatened to publish the pictures on social media if the victim called police.
Lt Colonel Abdullah Mohammad, Director of Criminal Search Department at CID, said that police formed several teams to catch the gang members and arrested them in Dubai and other emirates.
“They were 10 women and 37 men. They used to rent the apartment with fake IDs to avoid the arrest,” Lt Col Mohammad said.
The 47 suspects were referred to Dubai Public Prosecution for legal action.
Major-General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs, warned of dating apps and fake Ads on social media platforms to protect themselves from blackmail.
“Community members should be careful from chatting with unknown people on social media platforms or to open suspicious links to protect their smart devices. Online scams developing with the advance technology and fraudsters using it to lure their victims,” Maj Gen Al Mansouir said.
He pointed that Dubai Police have well-trained officers and use latest technology like the data analysis using the artificial intelligence.
“Dubai Police won’t stand still against any crime especially e-crimes and illegally obtaining money from others,” Maj Gen Al Mansouri added.