The Ghana Police Service has revealed that over GH₵400,000 has been lost to sex extortionists within six months.

The Director-General of the Criminal Investigation Department, Commissioner of Police (COP) Isaac Ken Yeboah is reported as saying that the money was paid by victims to the perpetrators between January 1 to July 31, 2020.

“Between the period after the lockdown and July, victims lost a total of GH₵420,000 to the perpetrators behind this crime,” he revealed at a press briefing on Monday.

According to the police boss, the suspects use nude pictures and videos to blackmail their victims in exchange for money.

He urged all victims of sex extortion to report to the Cyber Crime Unit of the CID to assist with investigations.

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He further cautioned persons involved in the act of taking nude pictures and videos from victims to desist from such practice before they find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

The head of the Cyber Crime Unit of the CID, Dr Gustav Yankson who was also present at the press briefing said that there has been a surge in cyber offences, especially during the coronavirus lockdown period.

According to him, some of the offences recorded within the period included child pornography, the publication of obscene materials, extortion related to nude pictures and videos, shopping and mobile money scams.

He added that investigations by the police revealed that people resorted to the use of cyberspace to spice up their relationships during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

“During the post lockdown period the images and videos shared between lovers and couples landed in the public domain and criminals took advantage to extort money from their victims,” he added.