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SEX CRIMES

Swedish man charged for blackmailing sex buyer

A businessman from southern Sweden who attempted to pay for sex from two 18-year-old women instead found himself caught up in a blackmail scheme.

Having made contact with the two women over the internet, the man then went to meet them at a designated time and place in Malmö.

But when he arrived, the 18-year-olds took him to meet a 28-year-old man who ended up demanding nearly 50,000 kronor ($7,300), local newspapers report.

If the businessman didn’t pay, the 28-year-old threatened to expose him to his neighbours and police as a paedophile, even though having consensual sex with an 18-year-old is not considered paedophilia according to Swedish law.

The businessman, having paid 17,000 kronor on the spot, eventually reported the matter to police.

The 28-year-old, who was charged with extortion on Tuesday, admitted that he had used the online alias “Carro” to attract men interested in buying sex and then hired two girls who were to meet the businessman.

But he claims his actions weren’t criminal, in part because they were part of a wider personal effort to expose paedophiles.

The 28-year-claimed he had successfully outed a number of paedophiles using the blackmail scheme.

“I think paedophiles are swine. I sent the money to different organizations which support victims of violence and sex crimes,” the 28-year-old told Skånskan.

ERITREA

Eritrean blackmail victim appeals ‘soft’ sentences

A Swedish-Eritrean woman who was the victim of an attempted extortion of $33,000 in ransom for a kidnapped and tortured man in Egypt has appealed against sentences passed down on two men on Friday.

Eritrean blackmail victim appeals 'soft' sentences

“It would have been good had they at least got the year that the prosecutor had demanded,” Meron Estafanos, who is a journalist and human rights activist, said.

The two men, aged 21 and 18, were sentenced to a month in prison with probation, and probation respectively despite prosecutor calls for a “severe sentence”.

The kidnappers, who are reported to be Swedish nationals of middle eastern descent, demanded that the woman pay them $33,000.

If she failed to come up with the money, they threatened to kill a man, reported to be her cousin, who lived in Egypt. The man later died following the torture.

Eritreans living in Sweden are routinely targeted by kidnappers who blackmail them into paying for the freedom of relatives and fellow nationals.

This case is reported to be unusual because the accomplices of the kidnappers were in Sweden and the trial is thought to be the first time anyone involved with such torture-blackmail plots has been put on trial in the western world.

Pressure is mounting on the Swedish government to act to intervene in the situation which is proving to be a very lucrative trade in human beings in the region.

Thousands of Eritreans are thought to have been tortured and killed in Bedouin camps in the Sinai peninsula and several Swedish-Eritreans have been blackmailed for ransoms running into thousands of dollars.

TT/The Local/pvs

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