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Watch: Abu Dhabi Police urge residents to report extortion, blackmail attempts

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Abu Dhabi: Residents in UAE should report any blackmailing or extortion attempt they face, the Abu Dhabi Police have urged.

Incidents can be easily reported on the dedicated, round-the-clock Aman communication channel, the Police has said.

Victim experience

To highlight the adverse impact of these acts on well-being, the Abu Dhabi Police also released a video clip in which a resident described her experience with a man who threatened her over a prolonged period. The young woman said she met the man on social media, and that they began a relationship. They went on to exchange video clips and pictures, and the man proposed marriage.

After a while, the man began to demand money from his victim, and threatened to call off the relationship if she did not comply.

Adverse impact

“At first, he would ask me for money. If I did not comply, he would threaten to share my videos and pictures online. I knew then that I had made a serious mistake sharing these with him. He continued to pressure me, and this really affected my mental health, my productivity at work and my relationships with my family and friends,” the woman said.

Eventually, a friend of hers advised her to report the matter to the Police through the Aman channels.

Penalties

The Abu Dhabi Police highlighted the criminal nature blackmail and extortion, including online attempts. The Federal Law No 5 of 2012, in fact, states that people who are found guilty of blackmailing or threatening others, or of sharing personal information or images without consent, can be imprisoned, fined or both. The minimum jail time for such a crime is two years. Fines, on the other hand, range from Dh50,000 to Dh500,000.

Contact Abu Dhabi Police Aman
* Call the toll-free hotline on 8002626.
* Send a text message to 2828.
* Email the Aman team on [email protected]
* Report the incident through the Abu Dhabi Police app.

Monitor children

Residents should therefore report any such threats they encounter, including instances in which they are pressured to share personal and sensitive information, or commit illegal acts. The Abu Dhabi Police also advised guardians to closely monitor their children, including teenagers, for signs of distress, adding that fear of scandal or malign often prevents victims from reporting their troubles. Children should also be encouraged to reject friend requests and contact from strangers.

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