Alicante man arrested for posting hundreds of photos of women on a pornography website before later trying to help the victims by posing as an Interpol officer.
National Police arrested in 33-year-old man accused of publishing photographs and personal data of hundreds of women on an adult website with pornographic content. According to the General Directorate of the Police in Alicante, the accused posed as an Interpol agent and concocted elaborate stories of foreign mafias and threats to trick and coerce the women.
The investigation began earlier this year when officers from the technological crime division of the Alicante Police learned of several similar complaints in which the victims said that their photographs had been published on an adult website. The similarity in modus operandi made the agents suspicious that the events could be related.
In all of the cases, it was found that the victims were users of dating websites, where they had published photographs of themselves. Some of those photos, along with their personal data, were found reposted on a pornographic webpage where it was claimed that they were prostitutes.
Soon after the victims discovered their photos on the adult site, a man claiming to be an Interpol agent, contacted them through social media. He led them to believe that they were in danger and that foreign mafia gangs were using their photographs, and that they could come to great harm. Taking advantage of their fear, he asked to make an appointment in person with them to glean more information for the so called investigation.
Investigators found out that one of the victims had met with this alleged “agent” in a wooded area of the Castillo de Santa Bárbara, where he took intimate photographs with the excuse of checking that she had no marks or scars and thus verifying that the photos on the internet were hers.
The victim, confident that this man was truly an Interpol agent and was going to help have her photos deleted from the site, later received a call from him, threatening to publicise the images.
Researchers who analyzed the content of the web page where the images were published, located almost 1,200 photographs of more than 700 different women, many of an intimate nature. The police were able to identify some of them and contact them to let them know, as well as alerting them to the possibility that the alleged perpetrator would contact them.
One of the women, who had been informed by police that a man might be in touch, contacted investigators to notify them that a man had indeed contacted her and made arrangements to meet at the same wooded area where investigators knew he had already met another of the victims. Officers, knowing his intentions, established a surveillance operation in order to locate and capture the man.
After his arrest, police conducted a search at his home, where a quantity of computer equipment such as hard drives, telephones and laptops were seized, as well as videos of other victims and the false Interpol credentials that he used to make his victims believe that he was a legitimate officer.
The detainee, accused of an crimes against privacy and moral integrity, threats and usurpation of public functions, was placed at the disposal of the Court of Instruction in Alicante.