The suspect, Anderson Ofosuhene Anim, whose site is devoted to child pornography and adult sexual content, was arrested following a joint operation.

The operation was spearheaded by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) of the Ministry of Communications, together with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service and the National Cyber Security Technical Working Group.

Anim is alleged to have collected monies from victims, both children, and adults under the pretext of pulling down their nude pictures and videos from the internet.

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Empress Leak: How CID arrested Ghanaian porn site operator
Empress Leak: How CID arrested Ghanaian porn site operator

The suspect, however, allegedly splashed the videos and pictures of the victims on social media despite taking their monies.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Communications Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful revealed how the porn site operator was nabbed.

She said an investigation was launched after a female secondary school student filed a report on January 6th with the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-GH) of the NCSC.

The girl, who is under 18, reported to the CERT-GH team after a sexually explicit video of her was uploaded to the website.

Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful
Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said the team took a lead on the website’s registrant information, associated domain names, email addresses, telephone contacts and the residential address of the administrator.

As part of Government’s efforts towards the protection of Ghana’s cyberspace, the National Cyber Security Centre in 2019 launched a Cybercrime/Cybersecurity Incident Reporting Point of Contact (PoC), to provide an effective mechanism for citizens to report suspected and identified cybercrime and cybersecurity incidents,” she said.

The Minister further disclosed that the NCSC received almost 300 complaints regarding the publication of non-consensual intimate images (sextortion), online impersonation and online fraud between January and June this year.

“Out of a total of 296 cases received by the National CERT between January 1 to June 30, 2020, 27% of the cases, representing a total of 79 cases, are related to either sextortion, non-consensual sharing of intimate images or child online abuse,” she added.

The Empress Leak website is said to record about 600,000 monthly users from Ghana, Nigeria and the UK.

Meanwhile, the suspect is facing charges of child pornography, publication of obscene material and general provision of cybercrime and money laundering.

Anim appeared before appeared before an Accra Circuit Court last week, and will reappear before the court again on August 19 for prosecution to continue.