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October 23, 2019

Woman’s cyberstalkers fined Rs1m for extortion


October 23, 2019

Two men accused of cyberstalking and extorting money from a woman over her indecent pictures have been ordered by a city court to pay a fine of Rs500,000 each.

On Tuesday the court was informed by a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officer that the accused Talha Khan and Shees Khan had reached a compromise with the complainant’s family.

The officer said the woman’s family has pardoned the accused and do not want to pursue the case further. A copy of the compromise agreement was also submitted in court.

After listening to the officer and the complainant, the judge observed that the accused cannot be let go without paying a fine because prima facie, they had committed the crime.

The judge ordered each of the accused to pay Rs500,000 as fine to the woman’s family because they experienced severe mental anguish because of their act. The suspects had been arrested in September by the FIA’s Cyber Crime Wing over the complaint of the woman’s father that the men had been harassing and blackmailing his daughter.

The FIA used technical assistance to trace the suspects. According to the investigating officer, Talha was the woman’s neighbour and possessed many indecent pictures and videos of her. The officer told the court that the suspect had harassed and abused the girl, as well as threatened her by sending her pictures to her to pressure her into meeting and paying him.

The IO said Talha had extorted up to Rs87,000 from the woman and the money was paid through a branchless banking services provider. The FIA also found Shees to be involved in cyberstalking.

The officer said that the technical analysis of the social media accounts and digital devices of both suspects showed they had stored and spread the woman’s pictures. He said Talha had also uploaded the pictures to adult websites and shared it on a messaging mobile app, while Shees had put it on a photo and video-sharing social networking service.

The case was registered under sections 20 (offences against dignity of a natural person), 21 (offences against modesty of a natural person and minor) and 24 (cyberstalking) of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, and sections 109 (punishment of abetment if the act abetted committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment) and 419 (punishment for cheating by personation) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

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