Cyber Crime: FIA Arrests Man Accused of Blackmailing Via Whatsapp

Increasing mobile and internet penetration in Pakistan has brought with them a spate of cyber crimes. The recently Cyber Crime Bill empowers the FIA to take action in such cases.

Recently, a man used WhatsApp to blackmail and threaten his victim into paying a large sum of money.

Muhammad Saleem, a mobile phone repairman at Hanzala Communications in Javeria Mobile City, Model Colony Karachi was arrested for blackmailing the victim using WhatsApp.

Muhammad Saleem

He sent personal videos of objectionable nature on WhatsApp to the victim, asking them to pay Rs. 50,000 or he would upload these videos to websites of explicit nature.

For the purpose of blackmail and evading capture, Saleem used a number which was registered to a woman.

Case Details

According to the case details, Mr. Zahid* visited the mobile repair shop to get his phone repaired. After the phone was fixed he asked Saleem to sell the phone. When Saleem sold the phone he found a memory card in it which contained objectionable videos of Mr. Zahid’s* sister.

He got greedy and used his customers’ phones which were sent him for repairs with a SIM that was registered to a woman to blackmail Mr. Zahid*.

He proceeded to send Mr. Zahid* videos of his sister on WhatsApp and demanded Rs. 50,000 to delete the videos, else he would upload them to objectionable websites.

The victim had agreed to pay the sum to Saleem and were going to meet at a restaurant in Karachi. The victim called FIA’s cyber crime cell and they sent a raiding party to the restaurant as well.

When Saleem got there, the information regarding the objectionable videos was confirmed and he was arrested.

Punishment Details

He will be charged under section 16, 21 and 24 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016. The actual punishment details were not revealed.

This is one of the first cases of its kind to involve a popular instant messaging service to commit a crime. Other cases involved Facebook instead and were usually of similar nature, blackmailing through personal images or videos to extort a large sum of money.

Disclaimer: The names of the victims have been changed to protect their privacy.

A techie, gamer, and Senior Editor at ProPakistani.

  • “When Saleem sold the phone he found a memory card in it which contained objectionable videos of Mr. Zahid’s* sister.”

    Bhai k mobile mein sister ki personal videos of objectionable nature?

            • Um, so why Saleem has to pay by going to jail and Zahid does not? Sins is different for both but both are sinning? I don’t get your logic.

              • You just don’t get it, Saleem is blackmailing Zahid for photos and that’s why he goes to jail.
                Now about Zahid it doesn’t matter whose photos in his mobile phone was, was he even aware of them or not (i guess he wasn’t aware otherwise he wouldn’t have sold the mobile with that memory card does he?). Even if he was aware and guilty he didn’t publish or blackmail no one so legally there is no case on him.

  • Well, this Saleem wonders why Mr Zahid or his “sister” was not arrested. Pakistan Penal Code 292 sub-section (a):

    whoever sells, lets to hire, distributes, publicly exhibits or in any manner puts into circulation, or for purposes of sale, hire, distribution, public exhibition or circulation, makes, produces or has in his possession any obscene book, pamphlet, paper, drawing, painting, representation or figure or any other object whatever…shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months or with fine, or with both

    Note: “has in his possession any obscene book, pamphlet, paper, drawing, painting, representation or figure or any other object”

    That means all you have to do is be caught with such material to go to jail. Mr Zahid’s “sisters” should have gone to jail for producing it.

    • بات کرو حق کی چاہے لگ جائے سب کی۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔

    • “publicly exhibits or in any manner puts into circulation” is the key word here. Taking it for yourself or for anyone else is not a crime. Publicly showing is.

    • Why its a crime? If its a crime then how obscence videos of Popular models leaked and why not govt agencies arrest them? Like Meera and Sofia Video?

    • She holds intellectual and copyrights of her assets which were featured in the videos. If she can let the judges examine her intellectual property, she can avoid jailtime. After all, only she can sue herself for holding her videos especially when she was keeping them in her own mobile.

  • For the people wondering why Zahid wasn’t arrested must understand that in most of the conservative class society in Pakistan, even a picture of a woman NOT WEARING A DUPATTA or a burka (only shalwar-kameez) is also considered objectionable.
    It is obviously ok for such pictures to be found on his brother’s phone because he is a MEHRAM but if such pictures were found to be in the possession of a stranger, then not just the society but the girl’s relatives can also raise silly questions such as what what this girl doing with a complete stranger and not wearing a burka or a dupatta? Such defacement is a fatally dangerous situation for many woman in Pakistan and such things often lead to honor-killings, even when it wasn’t the woman’s fault.

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