OKARA: City B division and Gogera police have registered two separate cases against members of a gang allegedly involved in trapping and blackmailing young boys through social media platforms and forcing them to develop sexual relations with them, arresting its “ringleader”.

As per police sources, in the first case the complainant Asad Ali’s orphaned nephew, a 9th class student, was befriended by a “girl”, introducing herself as Aysha, on a social media platform, some six weeks ago.

After they exchanged photographs on WhatsApp, it transpired that the caller was actually a man.

The suspect then sent photo-shopped nude pictures to the boy, threatening to post these on social media if he did not develop relations with him. The suspect also extorted Rs50,000 from the boy through blackmail.

Would use social media to trap young students

However, the boy informed his uncle about the situation, who reported the matter to the city’s B-division police.

Similarly, another boy, son of Aftab Manzoor, a resident of Gogera, was also trapped on a social media app and was blackmailed.

The boy was so traumatised that he started contemplating suicide, his father told the police.

The police, after thorough investigations, traced gang ringleader Sakhawat Sarwar, a resident of Okara’s Ayub Park locality, and his accomplice, Ramzan, of 52/2L village, along with three unidentified suspects.

The police arrested Sakhawat, and looking for other suspects.

Sakhawat has been booked in two cases, registered by City B division and Gogera police, on the complaints of Asad Ali and Aftab Manzoor, respectively, under sections 384, 337 B of the Pakistan Penal Code, and sections 22, 24 -1(a) of The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016.

As per police, the main suspect, Sakhawat Sarwar, is now in their custody on a five-day physical remand.

Assistant Sub-Inspector Muhammad Ijaz, who is investigating the case says that dozens of porn videos of boys and girls have been recovered from the suspect, Sakhawat Sarwar.

He says that on the identification by the suspect, police are conducting raids to arrest other gang members.

As per the petitioner’s counsel,Rana Shakil Ahmad Sulehria Sarwar’s co-suspect Ramzan is on a pre-arrest bail till May 15, 2024. He will appear in the court of Additional Session Judge Muhammad Ashfaq on Wednesday (today), he adds.

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2024

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