A 13-year-old schoolboy has been arrested on suspicion of tricking three Hong Kong girls aged between nine and 12 into sending nude photographs or videos in return for online game weapons.
The Form One student allegedly threatened to make public the pornography unless the girls sent him more, Chief Inspector Tai Tze-bun of the police cybersecurity and technology crime bureau said on Thursday.
Officers began investigating the case after receiving reports from the parents of the three girls, who became acquainted with the suspect while playing online games between December 2020 and this March.
“The suspect used different excuses such as offering an online game weapon to lure the victims into taking nude photographs or video and sending it to him,” Tai said.
Officers identified the suspect through his SIM card registration and arrested him during a raid on his home in Kwun Tong at around 5.30pm on Wednesday.
Police seized two computers and three mobile phones. It is understood nude photos were found on some of the devices.
A preliminary investigation found about 50 nude pictures and video clips were involved.
The suspect might have committed the crimes out of sexual curiosity, Tai said, adding there was no indication he had transferred or sold the porn to others. Police will continue to investigate whether the suspect is linked to other cases.
The age of criminal responsibility in Hong Kong is 10.
Police arrested the teenage boy on suspicion of the use, procurement or offer of persons under 18 for making pornography or for live pornographic performances – an offence that carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a HK$1 million (US$129,000) fine.
According to the force, the suspect may also face prosecution for blackmail under the Theft Ordinance and possession of child pornography under the Prevention of Child Pornography Ordinance.
The boy was released on bail pending further investigation. Officers from the cybersecurity and technology crime bureau are handling the case.
Tai warned that the internet was not a lawless realm and most current laws were also applicable to the cyberworld. He also reminded members of the public, especially youngsters, to be cautious while meeting people on the internet.
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