By Andy Sambidge
Investigators say individual has been arrested, detained in Gulf state as part of probe
An individual has been arrested in Kuwait in connection with a long-running investigation by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre in the UK.
It said in a statement that it is currently involved in an ongoing criminal investigation, which has "resulted in the arrest and detention of an individual in Kuwait for the suspected sexual abuse of children".
The investigation has been co-ordinated by CEOP, working with the authorities in the UK, Kuwait and its representatives in the UK, as well as a number of other law enforcement agencies around the world, it added in the statement.
CEOP said the probe relates to a non-UK offender who hacks into the online accounts of children and young people, threatening and forcing them to perform sexual acts on web cam.
CEOP said it believes this activity has been going on since 2008, adding that it was issuing the statement to "provide any as yet unidentified victims the opportunity to seek appropriate advice and support".
West Yorkshire Police contacted the CEOP Centre in March regarding a suspect who had targeted a young girl online.
Police enquiries established a number of victims who described performing sexual acts online, which has resulted in a number of UK Police Forces now being involved.
Generally, the offender’s method has been to use an instant messenger service and pretend to be a friend of the targeted a victim.
During subsequent conversations, the offender directed victims to an internet link. When clicking on this link, victims were asked to provide their e-mail account(s) and password(s), allowing the offender to take control of their login information.
The offender was then able to take control of and hack of the victims’ accounts, changing their passwords and security information.
The offender would then inform the victims’ that their account had been hacked and they no longer had control of it.
The offender continued the threats, saying that personal information about them would be sent to friends and family on the internet, unless they continued to perform sexual acts via the webcam.