The Daily Star (Lebanon)

ISF arrests drug dealer, sextortion­ist, thief


BEIRUT: The following arrests were reported over the weekend:


The Internal Security Forces announced Sunday that it had arrested a drug dealer in Sin al-Fil. According to an The ISF’s Informatio­n Branch arrested the dealer, identified as Syrian national B.K., born in 1996, on Oct. 12 in the Saloumi neighborho­od after extensive monitoring.

At the time of the arrest, B.K. was dealing drugs on a motorcycle without a license plate. The ISF found 34 dime bags of crack cocaine, 30 dime bags of cocaine, a small bag of hash and another containing Salvia in B.K.’s possession.

“Money and a mobile phone with three recharging cards were also found,” the statement said. B.K. was referred to the ISF’s anti-drug bureau for further investigat­ion.


The ISF arrested a man suspected of hacking into personal Facebook accounts for the purposes of socalled sextortion and advertisin­g prostituti­on, according to a statement Sunday. The agency was alerted to the case after receiving a complaint on its official Facebook page that said explicit photos were being shared and prostituti­on was being advertised through multiple Facebook accounts. The ISF’s AntiCyberc­rimes Bureau located a man, identified as Syrian national Aa.Y., born in 1994, suspected of hacking into the accounts. He was arrested Wednesday in Zahle’s Ali al-Nahri. According to the ISF statement, Aa.Y. confessed to the crime.

He told investigat­ors that he would find his victims by first checking to see whether random Lebanese cellphone numbers he came up with were linked to a Gmail account. If they were linked, he would try to log into the Gmail account using random passwords, and if he succeeded, he would log into the user’s Facebook using their Gmail credential­s. Once inside the Facebook account, he would then search the victim’s private messages for explicit photos. If he was able to find such photos, he would contact the victim using a fake number and demand money in exchange for not publishing the photos. If he was unable to find explicit photos with which to extort his victim, Aa.Y. would instead publish posts advertisin­g prostituti­on along with his phone number on their profile.

When receiving phone calls, Aa.Y. would use an app called Cash In to charge callers a fee $3 per minute. Aa.Y. told investigat­ors that when receiving the calls, he would “change his voice to make it more feminine” and promise the callers he would have sex with them if they added credit to his cellphone number. The ISF requested in its statement that citizens use online passwords that are “difficult to hack, and continuous­ly change them to avoid exploitati­on.”


A man was arrested in Mreijeh, in Beirut’s southern suburbs, after stealing a Chevrolet van loaded with a large quantity of tobacco, the ISF reported Saturday. According to an ISF statement, the man stole the van, which had an estimated $21,350 worth of tobacco inside, from the premises of Regie, the national body that regulates the production and distributi­on of tobacco in Lebanon, in Hadath.

The theft took place on Oct 5.; the van was found later in the day, but the tobacco was gone. The statement identified the suspect as Lebanese national A.S., born in 1984. He had formerly been convicted of robbery, according to the ISF. A.S. was arrested Thursday while on a motorbike in Mreijeh, and allegedly admitted to the accusation­s against him.

He also confessed to carrying out 10 additional thefts in different areas in Mount Lebanon, as well as to monitoring bank employees and stealing $10,000 from one of their cars.

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