Online extortion ring targeting officials unearthed

A clandestine network that extorted money or favors from politicians, parliamentarians and other officials through misusing social media platforms has been unearthed by the authorities, according to local media reports.

Members of the cell are believed to have blackmailed their targets using multiple online accounts to criticise and humiliate them, before contacting them and threatening to disclose information about them unless the victim paid a sum of money or extended other favors to the culprits.

Security sources are understood to have so far arrested five members of the cell, while a sixth person who is believed to be a beidoun is on the run and hiding somewhere within the country. Two other beidoun members wanted in the same connection are believed to be out of Kuwait and living in Europe.

The arrested men have been charged with incitement, attempting to extort money from a parliamentarian and for their role in operating various online social media accounts that were part of the extortion racket.