8 accused of using fake porn to extort 4.5m yuan

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Eight suspects have been arrested and charged with using modified pornographic photos in an attempt to extort 4.5 million yuan (US$724,050) from government officials, corporate executives and managers, prosecutors in central China's Hunan Province said yesterday.

Prosecutors in Shuangfeng County said the gang used PhotoShop computer software to modify the photos to make them appear as if the victims were in them, and sent them to their targets. They had received 255,000 yuan before they were captured by police.

The eight suspects, all natives of Shuangfeng, began using such photos to extort money in 2011. They mailed more than 210 letters containing fake pornographic photos in the past two years.

Prosecutors said more than 150 unsent letter were seized. The number and details of the victims were not disclosed.

Since last year, police in Shuangfeng have uncovered 147 similar cases and tracked 37 suspects who used doctored porn photos to extort money. Among them, seven were detained and one was given security detention. The rest were later caught by police.

More than 30 cellphones, 30 computers and 300 bank cards were also seized.

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