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August 11, 2009

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Man held over blackmail scam

A BEIJING man has been detained for trying to blackmail 88 actors and actresses by claiming he had photos and videos of them having sex after he came across their contact details accidentally.

Yan Dong told police the idea came from a Hong Kong sex-photo scandal which involved many stars.

He sent text messages to the actors at the end of July, saying he would post the photos and videos online if they did not each give him 300,000 yuan (US$44,100), Sichuan-based West China Metropolis Daily reported yesterday.

Yan got the contacts from the computer of his neighbor, a film director who asked Yan to repair his PC, police said.

Yan did not get any pornographic photos or videos from the director's computer, the report said.

Hailing from northeast China, Yan, 30, did not have a regular job in Beijing and made a living by repairing computers, police said.

More than 10 artists called police after receiving the message, including an artist surnamed Xiao from Hai Run Movies & TV Production Co Ltd, and another surnamed Zhang from a film studio.

Yan didn't get any money before being caught but his account received 3,000 yuan three days later.

Police would not say who sent the money.

Yan said he did not know blackmail was illegal.


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