Winnipeg police have charged a city man after multiple cases of sextortion.
Police began investigating in January 2023 after a man in his 20s reported he had been a victim of sextortion.
According to police, the victim shared intimate images of himself with an unknown person online, who purported to be a young woman. Once receiving the images, the suspect threatened to share the images online unless he sent him money. The victim e-transferred money to the suspect to avoid having his intimate images distributed and didn’t hear from them again.
Three more victims were identified by police in February and a man was charged with four counts of extortion.
The same suspect was linked to similar cases across Canada, with six additional male victims identified within Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island.
Investigators believe the crimes also had international ties as money was transferred overseas.
Tongun Justin Tongun, 21, of Winnipeg, was charged with six additional counts of extortion on June 11. He was released pending a court appearance.
Sgt. Trevor Thompson said all of the alleged victims are teenage boys or young men under 30. They live in Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario and Prince Edward Island.
Thompson said the jumping off point for the investigation was the first complainant coming forward.
“The importance of reporting cannot be understated,” he said.
Thompson did not say how much money had been extorted.
— With files from The Canadian Press