A Dutch man has been jailed for nearly 11 years after being found guilty of a number of sextortion offences against young girls and gay men in multiple countries.
The Supreme Court in the Netherlands handed 38-year-old Aydin Coban a sentence of 10 years and 243 days, the maximum tariff available for the charges he was convicted of.
Coban, from the Dutch city of Tilburg, was found guilty of targeting 34 young girls and five gay men in six countries between 2008 and 2014.
Posing online as a young boy or girl, Coban persuaded his victims to commit sexual acts in front of a webcam. After recording them, he threatened to post the resultant footage online unless they complied with his demands.
In some cases, he continued to abuse his victims – who were based in countries including the Netherlands, Australia, Norway, the UK and the United States – for years.
In a statement, the Dutch court said: “Above all, [Coban] abused dozens of young girls. He gained their trust by engaging in chat conversations with them, where he pretended to be a boy or a girl.
“[Coban] subsequently abused this trust. In many cases he was able to persuade the girls to perform sexual acts in front of a webcam.”
“Later, [Coban] would contact the girls again and demand they perform new ‘shows’ for him in front of a webcam.”
Coban now faces extradition to Canada, where faces a range of charges including extortion, possession of child pornography and attempting to lure a child online in connection with the death of Amanda Todd, a 15-year-old girl who killed herself after posting a video on YouTube saying she was being blackmailed after exposing her breasts in front of a webcam.
The Dutch court approved Coban’s extradition at the end of his trial, a decision he has appealed after denying any involvement in cyberbullying.
Judges will rule as to whether or not he can be extradited to Canada at the beginning of next month.
Europol has warned that sextortion is becoming a growing threat, and has caused a number of victims to take their own lives.
Many sextortion scams are perpetrated by organised criminal groups in countries such as the Philippines, which use images and videos of attractive young people on social media platforms such as Skype and Facebook in a bid to con their victims into performing sexual acts in front of a webcam.
Once they have the footage they want, sextortion scammers threaten to distribute compromising clips to victims’ friends and family and post it online unless a ransom is paid.
In many cases, the perpetrators of this type of crime ask for more money after an initial payment has been made, and have been known to distribute compromising videos even after a ransom has been handed over.