……JUST AS THE DG DECRIES INCREMENTAL CASES OF SEXTORTION IN THE FCT AND ITS ENVIRONS
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), has recorded a breakthrough in its efforts to arrest issues of sextortion in Nigeria as it has apprehended some members of a notorious cult known for perpetrating gruesome acts of sextortion and terrorizing young girls and other residents of the FCT and its environs.
The arrests of these perpetrators followed an intense surveillance and undercover operation ordered by the Director General of NAPTIP, Professor Fatima Waziri – Azi, in response to several complaints by victims and other stakeholders.
It would be recalled that the Agency has recently been inundated by a series of complaints from victims of sextortion who have been blackmailed with a plea for assistance.
Sextortion is a crime that occurs when someone threatens to distribute nudes and private videos of another person when that person refuses to grant them sexual favours or pay them money.
It is sexual exploitation as it is where the perpetrator uses coercion and threats to compel the victim to produce sexual images or videos engaging in sexual acts and this act is punishable under the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015 (as re-enacted).
Speaking on the development at the NAPTIP Headquarters, Abuja, Professor Fatima Waziri – Azi, expressed grave concerns about the incremental cases of sextortion perpetrated by mostly young men against young girls within the FCT and called for increased vigilance among parents and stakeholders.
The Director General explained, “After the criminals have one or more videos or pictures, they threaten to publish that content, or they threaten violence, to get the victim to produce more images. The shame, fear, and confusion victims feel when caught in this cycle often prevent them from asking for help or reporting the abuse.”
Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi advises young girls to be aware of this trend and protect themselves by reporting all cases of sextortion to NAPTIP, saying “Do not be afraid to speak up. Do not be gaslighted into thinking it was your fault. It is a crime and a crime against you. Report all perpetrators. If you do not report, you are emboldening these criminals, and what happened to you will definitely happen to someone else’’.
“Parents, please support your children if they report cases of sextortion to you. Do not revile them. A lapse in judgment should not lead to condemnation’’.
“If you or someone you know is a sextortion victim, you can help stop the harassment by reporting it to NAPTIP. Save all conversations, chats, or messages between yourself and the perpetrator’’.
“Do not pay or share more of your sexual images with them. Your webcam or recording devices can be activated remotely. As such, never have your phone or other electronic camera devices pointed at you while undressing or in a position, you would not want to share with the world. Be smart and stay safe”. Prof. Fatima Waziri – Azi, stated.