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Ghana’s top porn site operator arrested

The operator of empress leak – a site devoted to child pornographic and adult sexual content – has been arrested for alleged sextortion.

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

Anderson Ofosuhene Anim’s website records about 600,000 monthly users from Ghana, Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

Ghana’s Communications Minister, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, made the disclosure on Monday at a joint press briefing.

Addressing the media, she noted that, an investigation to clamp down on activities of empress leak was launched after a female Senior High School student, filed a report on January 6th, 2020, with the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-GH) of the NCSC. The report by the victim who is below 18 years, was to alert the CERT-GH team of an uploaded sexually explicit video of her to the website.

The Minister further noted that, preliminary investigations uncovered information on the website’s registrant information, associated domain names, email addresses, telephone contactsas as well as residential address of the administrator.

She said “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.”

The Minister stated that since the operationalization of the PoC, the NCSC has received countless cybercrime/cybersecurity incidents reports from the public. Key among these reports are the publication of non-consensual intimate images (sextortion), online impersonation, online fraud, malware attacks, online blackmail, website defacement, among others.

According to her, sextortion and distribution of sexual images of individuals are gradually becoming a canker in the Ghanaian cyber space, due to the trusting nature of most Ghanaians.

“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 said in a report by Starrfm.com.gh.

She stressed that these criminal acts are perpetrated by malicious individuals who build acquaintance with unsuspecting victims on platforms such as social media, dating and adult website through the use of fake identities.

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