At least 58 Filipino individuals in Manila and three surrounding regions were arrested by Philippine police for their roles in an online “sextortion” ring, the Associated Press reported on Friday.
The group is believed to have tricked hundreds of individuals around the world into exposing themselves on camera, during which the victims would be recorded and later blackmailed, according to the report, which adds that one teen victim from Scotland committed suicide.
Raids by 15 police squads resulted in the seizure of more than 260 computers, mobile phones and pornographic materials.
In these rings, operators typically hire women, who use fake Facebook accounts to meet men and coerce them into getting nude and performing sex acts, according to the report, which adds that the blackmail ranges from $500 to $15,000.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Interpol, and other international authorities aided in the investigation.