Jobless man arrested for blackmailing lecturer

January 16, 2013

An unemployed Saudi man who blackmailed a university lecturer over her picture is now in police custody after he was trapped.

The teacher, 41, said that she had met the blackmailer, 41, on the internet and that after months of chatting, he said he wanted to marry her. He, however, wanted her picture so that he could show it to his mother and sister before formally proposing.

After receiving her picture, he wanted her to go out with him, but she refused, the lecturer, who has a PhD, told local news site Sabq.

The man threatened to use her picture at her university and embarrass her within the academic community and her family who were not aware of their “relationship” unless she gave him some money. She reportedly offered him SR6,000 (Dh5,876) in an envelope and gave it to his sister.

The man later asked her to give him SR50,000 if she wanted to avoid a social and family scandal.

She then contacted the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice and reported his threats and demands.

The lecturer was told to pretend to agree to pay the money and the sister was arrested as she was being handed the envelope, and subsequently her brother.

He admitted to the threats and said that he needed the money as he had no job. The sister denied any knowledge about the case and said that she was told by her brother on two occasions to take an envelope from the woman. The commission servicemen allowed her to go home and moved the brother to the prosecution.

Blackmailing girls and women in Saudi Arabia has turned into a major cybercrime that the authorities have to face as a modern challenge.

In September, a conman was arrested for blackmailing more than 400 girls who sent him their pictures.

He was caught in a trap by the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice after one of his victims reported him for insisting on receiving money and gold from her.

Online users lashed out at the extortionist for abusing trust and blackmailing women.

“I wish they would apply the most stringent penalties against him,” Amani Bint Khalid posted. “He should also be made to sweep streets in the neighbourhood where he lives and to work in a restaurant there so that all people could see him.”

Another blogger, signing in as Jobless, chastised the blackmailer.

“Even if you are unemployed or handicapped or even about to die, you have no right to blackmail a woman who trusted you. What a world! Sick people are now toying with other people’s reputations,” he posted.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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