SINGAPORE - A 33-year-old man in Malaysia has been arrested for allegedly extorting sexual favours and money from several women he had befriended online.
Among the victims is a woman from Singapore.
She was persuaded to travel to Malaysia, where compromising videos she had sent him earlier were used to extort from her, the Singapore Police Force said in a statement on Saturday (Jan 30).
To stop him from circulating the videos, the woman transferred about $200,000 to a bank account provided by the man.
Police here were alerted to the incident when the victim made a report on Oct 19 last year.
The victim said she had met the man via a dating app, and claimed he told her to send compromising videos of herself.
After doing so, he suggested they meet, but in Malaysia.
When she got there, the man sent a male driver to pick her. The suspect then purportedly threatened to circulate the videos she had sent him, unless she had sex with the driver.
She relented to the demand.
After she returned to Singapore, she said she continued to receive threats from the suspect and was told to transfer money to prevent circulation of the videos.
Between February and October last year, the victim transferred about $200,000 to a bank account which the man provided.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the driver was in fact the man she had befriended on the dating app, the police said.
Through follow-up investigations, officers from Bedok Police Division established his identity and with the help of the Royal Malaysia Police, the man was arrested on Thursday.
The man is believed to be also involved in similar reported cases involving other female victims, the police added.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Julius Lim, Commander of Bedok Police Division, thanked the Royal Malaysia Police for their assistance.
"This is yet another example of the deep friendship and partnership built between both law enforcement agencies over the years.
"Transnational criminals who seek to harm our residents should expect to feel the long arm of the law," said Mr Lim.
The man was charged on Saturday with extortion. If convicted, he could be jailed for between two and seven years, and caned.