Suspects could face prison for blackmailing 32 men with webcam sex tapes

Lady Justice (Picture: Twitter/@danvelton). (Lady Justice (Picture: Twitter/@danvelton))

The Public Prosecutor demanded 3 years in prison against two men accused of blackmailing 32 men with sex tapes. According to the Prosecutor, the suspects secretly recorded their victims, who believed they were having webcam-sex with a woman through a dating site, AD reports.

The suspects, from Amsterdam and Zaandam, approached their victims through dating sites and exchanged contact details. They then tricked the men into believing they were chatting with a woman by showing them a video of a woman undressing herself. They convinced the victims to do the same and masturbate, recording this without the victims' knowledge. They then threatened to post the videos online if the men did not pay them a sum of money.

"Shortly after the live sessions, the victims were sent a link to a YouTube video of themselves, with the message that they had to pay to prevent the images being made public to friends and family", investigation coordinator Frans Snelders said in court, according to AD. "People who were very embarrassed or had a lot to lose - men with a family or an high position at a company - paid. There are also students among the victims. Some had less to lose and did not allow themselves to be blackmailed." Some of the videos did end up posted online.

The victims were often put under great pressure, according to the Public Prosecutor. The blackmail amounts demanded from the men ranged between a few euros to thousands of euros. In total the perpetrators obtained some 70 thousand euros in this way, the Prosecutor said. This is a major case. Videos of 150 men were found on one of the suspects' computers.

The court will rule in two weeks.