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Teenager death investigation linked to Philippines arrests

POLICE investigating the death of a teenager who took his own life after being blackmailed by strangers online have been involved in a major international operation targeting cyber-crime in the Philippines.

Daniel Perry, 17, from Dunfermline, Fife, died in July last year after falling victim to an alleged "sextortion" attempt, in which internet users are lured into webcam chats and then blackmailed with the footage.

Inquiries by detectives from Police Scotland revealed an electronic online trail, which led to the Philippines and links to organised crime groups there.

Authorities in the Philippines have now revealed that, over the past two days, they swooped on a number of organised gangs involved in cyber-crime and have arrested a large number of people as part of an operation codenamed Strikeback.

They arrested more than 50 people in a series of raids, according to reports. Several of the arrests are said to be linked to the Scottish case.

Police Scotland, who played no direct part in the enforcement action, said they worked with a number of international agencies to provide the information they had to the authorities in the Philippines to help with their operation. Those agencies included Interpol, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Inquiries by police in the Philippines in relation to Daniel's death are continuing and Scots officers said they will keep working with the authorities in Manila.

Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham, of major crime and public protection, said: "Daniel's death last year led to a major criminal inquiry which ultimately led officers to the Philippines.

"A young Scottish teenager lost his life as a result of this online activity."

Daniel was said to have believed he was talking to an American girl online but was told by blackmailers that the conversations had been recorded and would be shared with friends and family unless he paid up.

In the wake of the latest police operation, his mother, Nicola Perry, said: "Whoever was at the other end of that computer did not know Daniel.

"They didn't care that he was a loving and caring person."

Contextual targeting label: 
Transport Tragedy

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