Abu Dhabi: An Arab man in his 20s was arrested for luring minors for sexual exploitation, police said.
“The man allegedly attempted to seduce children into sexual conduct by sending them pornographic material through social media,” said Major Mohammad Al Ghamdi, the media spokesman for police in Mecca.
He added that the accused had filmed indecent images of minors and blackmailed them. Sources said the arrest was made when an undercover police officer pretended to be a female who was 18, in an online chat room.
Major Al Ghamdi said the man, who spoke about his indecent acts and crimes on social media, was caught and referred to the Public Prosecutor for reinvestigation, pending trial.
According to Saudi law, luring a minor, aged under 18 years, by an adult who is 21 years or older, is a criminal offence. Since luring a minor by an adult is usually for the purpose of sexual gratification, this is considered a sexual crime.
Sending pornographic material or making indecent proposition to a minor is a crime in Saudi Arabia.
The penal code applies to material sent or shared using electronic means, such as the internet, or in person.
“Usually, an officer contacts a suspect through online chat and engages him in a conversation that is of sexual nature. The officer then asks for a photo, to be sent through email, and also sends a photo of a girl, of course fake, to the suspect,” a source said.
At that point, the officer attempts to set up a face-to-face meeting somewhere. Once the suspect arrives, undercover officers arrest him.