Plot to blackmail gay men leads to five arrests
The police arrested five people last month on suspicion that they extorted, threatened, blackmailed and assaulted at least 15 gay men which they found through various dating apps and sites focused on homosexual men, the police said in a statement on Wednesday.
According to the police, the suspects forced their victims to pay them large amounts of money or they would make their sexual exploits public. Two men were also assaulted.
The police received reports of seven victims between the ages of 43 and 76 in Haarlem. An investigation launched in the summer of last year eventually led the police to a 19-year-old man from Lelystad. He was arrested on February 20th. The next day a second suspect, a 17-year-old boy also from Lelystad, was arrested. The two teenagers were arraigned on February 23rd and remanded into custody.
The police also received reports of eight victims between the ages of 17 and 45 years in Alkmaar. On February 14th the police arrested two Alkmaar men aged 22 and 23 years. A week later, on February 20th, another suspect was arrested - a 20-year-old man from Alkmaar. All three are still in custody.
The police believe that these men may have made more victims. Investigators call on victims to come forward. The police will handle your report discreetly.
The investigation is ongoing.